We're still waiting on 4A and 2A results and I'll try to stay up as long as possible to get those posted.
In the meantime, I wanted to say thank you to every single person who visited the site today. I SEE YOU TOO, GUESTS AND ANONYMOUS PEOPLE!!!! Thanks to your interest in the website and the Texas marching band activity, we shattered a record tonight for most people online at one time!!!
I am unbelievably proud of this community's enthusiasm for this activity. That energy keeps the entire TxBands.com staff powering through a crazy season!! We are NOT done yet!!!!
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Posted by Danpod on 28 October 2018 - 04:31 AM
We're still waiting on 4A and 2A results and I'll try to stay up as long as possible to get those posted.
Posted by jarrettlipman on 26 October 2016 - 03:33 PM
Yes -- Claudia Taylor Johnson is only planning to participate in prelims for area. We have been talking to Dr. Kent over the last few weeks about the best way to proceed without potentially affecting other schools and it seems that was the best compromise.
We began planning our nationals trip during the fall of 2014 knowing it would be a state year but not fully prepared for the decision to split state into two days, which we think is awesome ... but makes for an even longer week for our band members and the potential for up to four days of missed classss for them. We also want our truck and equipment to have ample time to travel / drive and with the potential for weather that time of year we really want our vehicles to leave Tuesday night and not mid day weds.
We love us some band ... but want our band members fully rested and charged for Indy. We don't go very often and want the trip to be very special and have them fresh for it.
We will be staying to watch area finals and cheer on the other groups and for future will not plan to do nationals on a state year again. We are appreciative of Dr. Kent's understanding and support and are excited for the weeks ahead! #teamTexas will be strong at nationals
Posted by AvonDadAlumni on 07 November 2017 - 04:28 PM
Posted by meursault on 19 September 2018 - 04:35 PM
Y’all had a great show last year and did well at the super regional you competed in. Let’s wait till your school has a competition this season before we continue to get crazy with all our predictions and debates.
Posted by BrewersGrill2319 on 07 November 2018 - 02:19 AM
Tonight was special. Everyone sounded amazing and never before have I been in a room with people filled with so much joy. Being a part of the Johnson stampede running into Vista's retreat block might actually be my favorite part of the season. Great job Vista Ridge, FloMo and Vandegrift for medalling and to everyone else participating in the contest.
Words cannot describe my experience.
Posted by OneOfMany on 06 November 2017 - 07:58 AM
I know that there are a few people from Avon who have been following this thread. I just want to reach out to you and vicariously to the Avon Black and Gold and say what an honor it is that you came and joined us this weekend. Looking at your past BOA results I realized that it has been many years since you have missed out on a medal at any event, and I hope that this doesn't discourage you. Your show is fantastic and I am certain will be right at the top at grand nationals. I hope you enjoyed your time in Texas. I would also like to say thank you for what you have done to improve the nature of marching band in our state. Simply by coming this year, you fostered an environment of competitiveness that has pushed our "bubble bands" to improve in vast measures to keep up. In addition, you have given some of our good bands that aren't quite ready to make the trip or that don't have the funding to go to grand nationals the chance to see a truly phenomenal visual program which is rare to witness here. I hope that the band and all associated parties have safe travels home and I can't wait to see what you accomplish next week!
As an Avon mom, I followed this thread from the beginning. Until this weekend, I did not want to register here, because I felt this was a Texas site/forum. Who am I to share a view in something that is clearly not my space? This post, however, was the tipping point. Thank you so very much for your encouraging words to our Avon Marching Black and Gold family. You are correct: our kids are used to getting medals at BOA events; however, this experience is worth its weight in gold. Please accept our (more than 300 and counting, as I shared your post on Avon Town Chatter pages) heartfelt thanks to you and to all of the Texas staff, parents, students, announcers, etc. for such a warm welcome. It was both humbling and inspiring.
If you'll allow me, I want to share a few other thoughts from the weekend:
- Flower Mound opened their home to our kids. The kids broke bread, played games, laughed, and just enjoyed each other's company. Our daughter is one of many in a group chat with kids from FloMo. These kids became friends. Avon kids and FloMo kids will hang out and compete again next weekend. How cool is that?
- Parents from various Texas bands made us feel at home and shared unsolicited encouragement when they saw our Avon shirts.
- More than a hundred Avon parents made the trip to support our kids. Many more wanted to go, but traveling is cost prohibitive. Instead, they sacrificed their own experience for their kids. Again, humbling and inspiring..
- Now, let's talk about the San Antonio Super Regional. Not going to lie, I have never missed one of Avon's BOA events since our daughter's freshman year; however, this was beyond special. I finally understand that everything IS bigger and better in Texas. This was by far the BEST marching band competition EVER. I am truly looking forward to next weekend's Grand Nationals. Spectators are not going to be disappointed. This will be a showdown to beat all showdowns: Texas, Broken Arrow, Carmel, and many other fierce competitors from across this great nation.
- Avon Marching Black and Gold parents (for decades) provide a standing ovation for all marching bands after every performance - prelim or finals. It was so nice to see many Texas parents do the same. Talk about synergy... yes, yes, and yes... all of our kids work so hard.
More than two decades ago, Stephen Covey shared the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. One of his principles - sharpen the saw - came to mind all weekend. San Antonio Super Regional brought out the best in students across Texas and your Avon Indiana friends, too. They know and observed first hand - when everyone pushes the limit, leaving their heart and soul on the field, the competition strengthens, and everyone benefits.
Thanks again, Texas. Our family (again, one of many) will never forget this experience. We are #teamtexas fans for life. Best to all of you as you continue your pursuit of excellence whether in Texas UIL, Grand Nats, or in your preparation for 2018. Mad respect!
Posted by bandobando on 20 October 2016 - 04:52 AM
Flower Mound's rehearsal schedule has been nearly identical the past >4 years. If they were "cheating" the UIL standards, it would've been uncovered by now. Nothing is different this year other than the fact that everything aligned for an incredible show perfected by a hardworking staff and performed by extremely dedicated students.
Other bands are doing wonderfully. But there is no denying the fact that Flower Mound just has an amazing show completely suited for them. And frankly, this isn't that much of a surprise; FM has been building its reputation and performance ability throughout its last 5 or so seasons. You can see their development in the competition results, especially since 2014 when they went to Grand Nats.
Flower Mound puts in the same amount of time as Hebron, Marcus, etc. There is literally no question. They're just an awesome band surrounded by other awesome bands. Don't discredit their success, especially on the basis of very little evidence!
Posted by LKendrick on 10 November 2018 - 02:52 AM
Congratulations to Prosper on advancing to BOA Grand National Semifinals!
Posted by Danpod on 07 November 2018 - 12:29 AM
Vista. Ridge. Ranger. Band.
The State Title has been Found.
Posted by principalagent on 07 November 2018 - 12:06 AM
- The Austin Area has not won a top class state marching title since Crockett in the 80s. Thank you VISTA FREAKIN RIDGE for bringing it home!!!!!! This is also Leander ISD's first gold medal (obviously) in the top class. In the modern era, they are the first band since Marcus to win on their first appearance in 5A/6A state finals. They are the first non DFW winner in 20 actual, full on years. Thank you Vista Ridge.
- And congrats to Vandegrift for pulling off a medal!! Now, half of LISD has medaled in the top class (Cedar Park in 2004, and the obvious). Leander almost did in 1996 and 2000, but did not quite get there.
- However, because Leander shot to 5th, LISD-South joins LISD-North as the only other school district to place three schools in the top half of the top class. This is also the largest amount of Austin Area representation in top class state finals in recent history.
- Flower Mound has nothing to be ashamed of. Their show was undoubtedly stellar, and a medal has been kept in Lewisville ISD for 7 cycles now.
- Collectively, Lewisville ISD has had three straight cycles of three bands in finals. I think this will continue for at least another cycle or two.
- Congrats to Waxahachie and Cedar Ridge for their performances!! Great entrants into the SMBC.
Throughout the 80s and 90s, the power center of marching band was in Houston. Duncanville and Bell broke that and it stayed in DFW for two decades. Ever since Bowie started making a run at a state medal and Cedar Park and Vandegrift cleaned up 4A/5A, I knew the power was shifting to Austin. Especially once Leander and Round Rock began their renaissance.
But it now finally arrived. I think the power is finally tipping towards Austin. As an Austin Area native, I cannot be more excited. (But maybe I should knock on wood - DFW did get one more band in finals than Austin did)!
Posted by GR parent on 04 November 2013 - 12:53 AM
This Blue Springs parent had a GREAT time at San Antonio! What they say about the Texas bands, is all true. There were sooooo many awesome bands there this weekend! And the fans were GREAT too! So many GREAT kids and GREAT fans! Thank you!
Posted by Jackson1 on 30 October 2013 - 08:48 PM
Not to get Doctor Phil"ish" but here is my advice for all bands:
1. DON"T WORRY ABOUT OTHER BANDS! - They are doing exactly what you are doing. Cleaning and polishing their show to put on the best product they can. You cannot control that so focus on your show and your role.
2. APPRECIATE THE SUPPORT! - Win or lose, think about the support you have had in order to get here. Band directors and staff, parents, student leadership, etc. Your have an army behind you.
3. ENJOY THE EXPERIENCE - Bond with friends. Enjoy the trip. Remember everyone there has a love of music and marching. Break out of your comfort zone and meet other people from other areas. You don't get the chance to meet so many other people from so many other places with the same passion. Reach out!!!!
4. JUST PLAY!!!!!! - That rush of adrenaline you get right before walking on the field - Use it, harness it, own it!!!! Play your heart out!!! Leave the field thinking "I didn't leave anything out on that field and neither did the rest of my team".
5. BE RESPECTFUL - EVERY BAND IS AMAZING!!!!!
Good luck to all!!!
Posted by LHSax on 08 November 2018 - 04:55 PM
I’m a little late to the party, but let me add just one more...WOW! Vista. Freaking. Ridge. I’ve been saving that ‘wow’ because I’ve been pondering a lot of thoughts that I’ve held on to throughout the season that I felt like trying to put into coherent thoughts, namely revolving around-
1. How does a band that had spent most of its 15 years as a fringe finalist at most big competitions, had never finished in the top 20 of a 6A/5A UIL State completion, and had only (barely) made one BOA SA finals appearance (in a year in which I think they missed Austin finals mind you), put together a season as iconic as what we just witnessed?
2. Will this be a flash in the pan kind of season with a one of a kind show where we see VR take a step down next season, or is this a whole new Vista powerhouse that is here to stay?
Now the second question we obviously won’t know much about for a year (but I have a hunch), and it’s probably too early to think about it before celebrating that victory more. But the 1st one I’ve thought about a lot.
I’ve often compared this show (in my head) to Phantom ‘08. It’s a show that may not be the hardest, and may not be he cleanest, but it’s so damn moving and so well assembled that it was unbelievably easy to forgive a hiccup or 2, and you’re so busy being sucked into the show, that difficulty is the last thing on your mind. Phantom rode that wave of fan support to a championship, and Vista just did the exact same thing (look at their weekend - 7th-4th-2nd-1st). I like to compare it to what makes a good movie. For the best cinema in the world, you end up forgetting you’re watching a movie while watching it, only to be snapped out of the trance once the credits role. That’s how this show felt. For 8 minutes, the rest of the world didn’t matter. All that mattered, was the “Vista. Ridge. Ranger. Band.”
And the hype started slowly. As is typical, LISD south had their early season videos out before anyone else. I said something along the lines of Leander and Vandegrift looking unstoppable (and I believe I correctly predicted a Vandy medal), and may have tagged on that Vista looked “pretty good” too. It looked to be shaping up to be another year where the heavy hitters would keep hitting, and Vista would be looking to get over a hump and into finals. And then the show started to come together. Props started to appear. Uniforms made their debut, and Vista actually kept a bit more quiet than typical (posted less early season videos) up until BOA Austin. And then the secret was unveiled...
The Lost Chorale, that finally broke the typical “solo-buildup-turn and blow” that had become a staple of Vista openers to date, and instead grabbed your attention in a very nuanced way. The main opener, that said “we’re about to take you on an emotional journey, but we’re gonna show off some ridiculous technique while doing so.” And then that ballad. When I heard this ballad the first time, that’s when I knew this wasn’t your average Vista Ridge band. This was something else entirely. I honestly can’t name many memorable VR ballads over the years, but this one will stick in my head for a long time. The movement throughout is so subtle, but so intentional. The backfield chords are so haunting, and this is the part I probably regret the most that I live so far away and could never experience live. The sax/flugelhorn hand-off was NAILS every. single. time. And then the groove movement, which in my mind was Vista saying - we’ve arrived. Deal with it. The attitude in this part is just beaming, even through streams.
All of that was enough to get them up with the big dogs at BOA Austin, finally breaking into the top half. But it’s the closer that ties all the magic together. In other iterations of amazing grace on the field, there tends to be a lot of flowing mello runs, or nifty glissandos, but the version Vista does is just pure in your face brass. I think what makes this even more powerful is that there isn’t a lot of big long sustained notes throughout the show, so this moment feels like a true destination that everything has been building to(maybe like they were found...or something). And I don’t think any ending would’ve completed this show more than the push to the company front.
But obviously we’ve all gushed about this show plenty this year, so what I also want to delve into (if you’ve made it this far), is what other bands will take away from this show. And what’s crazy is, This show wasn’t able to do what it did because it was super progressive, or pushed the boundaries of marching band. We’re not talking Bluecoats 2016 here. What this show I believe will teach other bands, is the power of a design team where every single designed element and moment in the show is intentional and integrated. Every drill move is tied to the music, every visual is designed for maximum impact. What I wouldn't give to be a fly on the wall in these design meetings, because this team put it ALL together.
Vista obviously hinged a lot of their success this year on their visual package. They won the visual caption at BOA Austin, did pretty well in that category at boa SA, and swept the visual judges in area and state finals. Hinshaw's been doing Vista’s drill for a few years now, but I’ve personally felt like they’ve gotten a little bit of his b-side drill compared to what he has done with Avon in the past. This year was a whole other story. This was classic Hinshaw, where every set is intentional and had purpose. It’s also drill that looks good, without being too exposed to tiny mistakes. Combine that with a new director from Grain Valley, and maybe the lesson here is - people from outside Texas get marching more than we do? It’s well known that Texas bands generally struggle at the top level in winning visual captions in national events. Maybe we just need a bit more of an influence from them? I'm mostly joking, but seriously, the off season hire obviously played major dividends, show design aside. This band moved with more precision and more confidence than it ever had come close to in the past. Having a growing color guard that is finally becoming a force doesn’t hurt either. The move back to a color guard from a dance team was risky one that led to a couple rough years, but it’s definitely paying off now.
I actually don't think Vista changed too much from their usual musical formula (other than the surprisingly mature ballad and gentle opening). They've always done a good job of integrating music that is recognizable and often seen on the field, with unique music that I don't think anyone has ever put on the field. Ryan George has often done an amazing job at this (And on a side note I'm just now realizing he did the Boston Crusaders show that is often compared thematically to this one and who ALSO had a big season...what a year for him). The biggest difference, as some have pointed out as criticism, is the large number of solos in this show. I agree, they probably had more solos than most...but it's the layering of these solos into the ebb and flow of this show that was done to perfection. The trade-off of the trombone solo. The way the soprano solo soars over the band in the ballad. The way that these solos are featured visually, not just with the props, but with the way the band/guard directs focus to them. And the fact that these soloists were SO FREAKING GOOD. Sure, solos mean the whole band isn't playing as often as others, but these solos fit so well into the show that it's really hard to criticize them.
But what this mostly tells other bands of course is that it just takes a collaborative design effort to create an integrated theme and a dedication and commitment to performing the heck out of that theme to make this kind of leap. What makes this jump so unprecedented, is that when you see these sudden rises to contention, it’s usually bands that are new and, after good years during the time that the school is filling out, they finally get a full band and emerge as much anticipated contenders. Vista ridge has been around for 15 years. This isn’t a band that grew up into contention. It’s a band that made a few adjustments to staff and how they approach a show design and finally emerged from the thick of “good bands” in Texas to one of the greats. There’s a whole slew of bands that finished in the 15-30 range that can certainly be truly inspired by this, in thinking it isn’t impossible for next year to be special, just like Vista’s was. I think this was the parody TX bands has lacked the past few years. It’s been generally the same finalists and the same medalists for the past 5+ years, and it’s been even worse at UIL. Texas marching band is more fun when there are surprises and the season is full of the unexpected. There are plenty of diamonds in the rough that sometimes just takes a little push in the right direction to be found. Expect more of that next year.
That went on a lot longer than I initially set out for...The fact that I had all that to say about a marching band show is probably more of a testament to how good this show was than anything i said about it...what a season! Let’s hope this motivates them to finally make the leap to grand nationals. It’s time to introduce themselves to Indianapolis! This will be a show that I will always regret never seeing live. But I thank everyone here for painting the picture for me so vividly. As I mentioned before, this has been an unbelievably active season for this board, and I love it!
Posted by jmj on 07 November 2018 - 12:53 AM
Posted by principalagent on 05 November 2018 - 03:33 PM
Of course, this very vague prediction could already be off if an out of state heavy hitter decides to join in on the fun.
Everyone else is afraid. Tarpon Springs and Broken Arrow both don't want to risk losing a regional, and Blue Springs doesn't want to lose a medal (and end up in the bottom half). Avon now gets to say they did it, but lost their streak of medals in the process. It's cost prohibitive for Dobyns-Bennett and Wando isn't a band that travels much. Every other band - quite literally every other one in question - would be in grave danger of missing finals.
For better or worse, this regional is Texas's turf. Other bands can come at their own risk.
Posted by LHSax on 16 October 2018 - 03:53 PM
I haven’t posted as much this year, but I’ve been hovering around these boards for 10+ years now, and I definitely think this is the most active season of discussion I’ve ever seen! And with a few minor exceptions, it’s been great, insightful, and mature discussion with a good balance of students, alumni and parents. I don’t know what’s spurred the magic this year, but it’s been great to read and keep up with, especially with the diversity of locales represented and the number of people who have gained access to discussing shows most of us have actually gotten the chance to view (thanks Flomarching/Youtube!). It’s very exciting to see 20 page threads for BOA Austin (we usually only get that deep for San Antonio) and even multiple page threads for smaller competitions. Debates have been civil and the support for groups that people aren't specifically tied to has been fantastic!
Just wanted to express my excitement for the growth of the site! Hope the rain stops so our conversations can finally move away from the weather. While I may be 1000+ miles away now, I’m excited for the most wonderful time of the year, especially due to the hype built up by this board!
Posted by bandie on 26 October 2013 - 08:00 PM
On the flip side? Kudos to whoever brought a busload of Hutto football players, in jerseys, to the Area D Prelims today to cheer on their band! The parents in the stands were amazed and impressed!
Posted by LKendrick on 08 November 2018 - 03:00 PM
I just got home from almost a week straight of marching band. I hope everyone enjoyed the live blog, feel so fortunate to get to contribute to that! There were so many fun moments over the past week, but these five stick out above for me.
- Rouse blew me away in BOA San Antonio prelims. They’ve always been really solid but when they hit that first Rocky Point Holiday impact…….wow. They sounded like a finalist and fit right in when they performed in exhibition after finals. Incredible improvement this year, they’re gonna be formidable in 5A next year at the state marching contest.
- Vista Ridge winning their first state championship, shooting up from 24th in 2016 to 1st in 2018. Their performance was one of the most emotionally captivating high school shows I’ve ever had the pleasure of sitting through live. This was so special to watch unfold in 2018. And to make that even more special, Claudia Taylor Johnson and Leander absolutely bum rushed Vista Ridge when they were told to break ranks at retreat. There was a band wearing brown uniforms, and then they were GONE. Kudos to CTJ and Leander on the incredible and wholesome display of great sportsmanship.
- Shiner high school finished their show in 2A. And then they kept playing as they exited the field. And exited the tunnel. And kept going. Some say they’re still playing to this day. It was so fun and unexpected, it came after an electric finals run as well.
- The colorguards in 4A HOLY CRAP. Kennedale came on and had flags flying in perfect unison the whole show, and we're not talking little tosses either. Paris also had some insane flag work as well. But MELISSA. That opening flag feature was one of the best things I saw from from a colorguard all week. And their rifles. Just wow. I don't know what is in the water but those north Texas small school guards holy wow.
- I went to Canyon High School, graduated in 2012. After being out of 4A/old 3A so long I wasn’t sure how Canyon would do moving back down, 2007 was their last year before moving up to 5A/old 4A. Was so so so happy when they were announced as a finalist for the first time in over a decade. Glad to see that they’re still holding their own. Proud alumni.
All in all it was an incredible week of (IMO) the best high school marching this country has to offer. The sheer depth of amazing bands in this state is no less shocking this year than it was last year when I went to my first BOA San Antonio. Thanks again to the Dans for giving me the opportunity to join them on the live blog, hope I was able to contribute as much as these opportunities have contributed to my professional growth as a hopeful future music educator. Can’t wait to hopefully be back next year!
Posted by AvonDad1971 on 05 November 2017 - 11:28 AM
Posted by LostChoirGuy on 05 November 2017 - 07:06 AM