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Band makes school history at UIL State Marching Contest

Madison Gould, Life and Arts Editor

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Airalih James

Woodwind ensemble performs in a run of the band's show, Lotus.

    The Rouse Band made history this marching season not only by advancing to the 5A UIL State Marching Contest, but also by being named ninth in the state at this competition.

    “It was insane. I was so overwhelmed with emotions,” freshman Katie Peeples said. “We knew it was a feeling we would never feel again. I never thought that we would come this far and because we stuck to the process, our work really paid off.”

    The Bands of America Contest in San Antonio is one of the most competitive high school band contests in the nation. On Nov. 3-4, the Rouse Band performed at this contest and scored higher than any previous year at the competition.

    “We threw down on the field and performed amazingly at BOA San Antonio,” senior and soloist Nathaniel Northcut said. “We did get 48th, but that’s not a good way to judge our show because our numerical score was actually higher than any other year.”

    The competitions leading up to State were all learning experiences for the band members. Between the successes, failures, losses, and wins, the Rouse Band pushed forward and became stronger and more resilient.

    “We didn’t get the place we wanted at either BOA competition, but that setback pushed us even farther,” junior Nick Temporale said. “We had the mindset afterwards that if that was what we were doing right now, we could do so much better later. We used each competition as a practice run for State so we could build confidence as we moved towards State.”

    Bands of America and UIL competitions are very different in terms of preparation and performances.

    “Our show this year was designed for UIL because it was a 5A State year for us.” junior drum major Aaron Bouchard said. “UIL is a lot more focused on how clean you’re playing your music and how clean you’re marching. BOA is geared more towards show bands with lots of marchers and props, so we experienced a lot more success on the UIL track than we did at BOA. ”

    The band began the process of redefinition and improvement in last year’s marching show, Glass Images. This year’s show, Lotus, reinforced and further strengthened the steps made toward success last season in many different ways.

    “Mr. Robb told me before UIL State that if we made State, it would change our band program,” junior Anna Doherty said. “I think about that a lot because it’s harder to go into future competitions without ever having won them, but being able to go into competitions saying that you’re ninth in the state, it’s a lot easier to have confidence in yourself. I think the band’s confidence will grow because the growth this marching season showed me how the process works and I didn’t know it was possible for us to be this successful.”

     Having directors who invest both time and energy into the program is very important to a band’s success, and the Rouse Band is no exception.

    “Everything from leadership meetings to supporting us, the directors helped push us forward,” junior drum major Maddy Moore said. “Nothing happens without the directors. They had to inspire us but also keep us on track and focused.”

    The band is now moving into concert season, where they will be preparing for their annual winter concert tentatively scheduled on Tues, Dec. 12.

    “Right now the band is preparing for our upcoming concert and also for Region Band auditions after the fall break,” sophomore Lindsay Walker said. “Winning State meant so much to us, and now it’s motivating us for all our future endeavors.”

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Band makes school history at UIL State Marching Contest