I was able to watch finals live, and I have a few thoughts about it:
I've gotta say, Keller Central was a pleasant surprise. They have a great show and perform it very well. It's a longshot because they are facing so much competition, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were to make finals at San Antonio. They have really stepped up to the plate this year.
Even after seeing LD Bell play live, I still have no idea how they will do at San Antonio. For one thing, the kids are certainly just as talented as ever. Those kids are FREAKS when it comes to marching. I don't know how they get such good technique that is consistent throughout the band, but they deserved the visual caption for sure. I'm not going to say anything about the show until I see it at San Antonio. I bet that it will be pretty awesome once Bell gets to Grand Nats especially.
Marcus was incredible, and they were unbelievably refined like they always are. Their show is still a work in progress like everyone would expect. It seems to be building up slowly and quietly to something throughout the entire show, so I am extremely excited to see what that is later in the season. As for BOA San Antonio, I have no idea. Down the road, they could blow by everyone and take 1st once again. Or they could finish outside the top 3. And I can't wait to see these guys at nationals. I honestly think they are the most talented band in the nation, and I would love to see them prove it.
And props to Hebron on their first BOA regional win (and their first caption wins I think?)! I for sure did not expect them to win, but after watching their finals performance, I knew Hebron was the best of the night. The last movement of their show is simply incredible. It starts with a crazy woodwind feature that made my jaw drop. The woodwind feature is followed by the whole brass section double tonguing while on the move, and by then my jaw had hit the floor. If they don't peak too early they could be serious medal contenders at BOA San Antonio. Or they could finish around the 4th to 6th area. San Antonio just seems to be more unpredictable than ever after BOA Dallas.
Also, a huge congrats to Coppell on winning the music caption in prelims! I was so happy for them when I saw that. Although they've always been an incredibly successful UIL band, they always seemed to have trouble in BOA, even though they are clearly one of the best bands in the state. Their success at BOA Dallas definitely seemed to be a huge step in the right direction. I seriously hope to see them in BOA San Antonio finals where they belong.
Also, I have to say the guy that was marching with a sling in one of the bands was AWESOME!