SSHS wins top marching honors at UIL meet
Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Oct. 17, 2005 - Sulphur Springs High School received top honors at the Region IV University Interscholastic League Marching Contest Saturday and will be advancing to the Area UIL meet on Oct. 29.

The SSHS Wildcat Marching Band received first division or superior ratings from all three judges at Saturday’s regional UIL meet held on Sam Parker Field in Mount Pleasant. 

�The kids put in an outstanding performance, the best they have performed so far,� SSHS Director of Bands Charles McCauley said Monday morning. �They got straight ones from every judge. The comments were positive.�

The judges noted the band’s sound, attention to detail, and expressed appreciation for the difficulty of the band’s overall show, moves, drill design, music and “high level of performance.” And even the criticism was constructive, noting only a few things such as tuning and step which the band will be working on over the course of the next two weeks in preparation for the Area contest, McCauley said of the judges comments regarding Saturday’s performance.

The marching contest is unlike a lot of musical UIL events in that the bands are “able to do their own thing and be so much more creative” by choosing their own programs as opposed to other UIL events in which performers can play only from a set list of selections.

The students at region are also receive marks from three judges who look at everything as opposed to other contests which generally feature “caption judges” who look at individual areas and award a ranking based on those marks. 

The area contest will be different as well, with five judges giving marks in two different areas. Three judges will evaluate the band’s overall musical performance with one looking at each individual, one at each ensemble or section and another to judge overall music. Two judges will look at marching, with one evaluating individual and the other overall skills, according to McCauley.

The band, to keep in the concert mode until area, will compete this Saturday, Oct. 22 in another marching contest. The Atlanta Invitational is a new meet  devised to provide 3A schools an opportunity to compete in a marching contest prior to their UIL meets in November. McCauley said for SSHS it represents another opportunity for the band to “keep the contest spirit going” while honing its skills for the Area UIL Marching Contest to be held at Mesquite Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 29.

McCauley noted the tremendous fan support and following to the contests, which provide additional encouragement for the marching students.

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