Band to compete in UIL area competition

Sophomore+Cambry+King+plays+bass+drum+during+the+ballad+of+the+band%27s+performance+at+the+football+game+against+Palo+Duro.

Kaylee Buck

Sophomore Cambry King plays bass drum during the ballad of the band’s performance at the football game against Palo Duro.

Following the success of their pre-UIL season, the Soaring Pride band competed in the regional marching competition Saturday, Oct. 21, receiving first divisions from all three judges. The band will compete in their area competition Saturday, Oct. 28 in Odessa.

We just have to focus on the green of the field, the white stripes, the notes, our forms, and getting the audience on their feet.”

— Mike Sheffield

“At first I was pretty overwhelmed because my goals for this coming contest did not seem reasonable,” head band director Mike Sheffield said. “There was so much throughout the show that needed to be polished and addressed,and I just didn’t see how we would have the time to hit it all. Somehow we found the time. My goal was to pack three weeks’ worth of rehearsal into one week, and we did that.”

Sheffield said while he was pleased with their regional performance, the band is continuing to strive to perform their best show.

“Every goal for every performance is to be better than last time,” Sheffield said. “Friday night’s halftime performance at our game in Dumas needs to be better than UIL, and Saturday needs to be our best yet.”

In the area competition, 25 bands will compete to advance to the State marching competition. With five judges instead of three and only five bands able to advance, sophomore Layne Rankin said the band can feel the pressure of this coming contest.

“Every time we walk into a stadium I get really nervous,” Rankin said. “But once we start marching, it is easy to forget the people in the stands and focus on what is going on around you in the show. I think area will end up being the same way.”

Junior drum major Cory Robbins said he believes the band has a good chance of advancing this weekend, if they perform at their best.

“My goal for this contest is to make top three,” Robbins said. “I want the band to do well, because we have worked very hard on this show. Making top three would not only mean we would advance to State, but also that we really deserve to be there.”

Scoring for the area competition is ranked, not rated. Sheffield said this means the contest is do or die, and the band will be going head to head against 24 other teams.

“There is a lot of pressure and nerves are high, but we will do well if they just go out there and do what we do,” Sheffield said. “We just have to focus on the green of the field, the white stripes, the notes, our forms, and getting the audience on their feet. We’ll let the judges and the ratings take care of themselves.”