Area high school bands converge on Cove for regional contest
By DEBORAH KELLEY
Special to Leader-Press
The annual UIL Region 8 High School 5A-6A Concert and Sight Reading Contest kicks off next Tuesday and Wednesday, April 12-13, at the Lea Ledger Auditorium. Twenty-six area high school bands are expected to participate from schools located in Killeen, Temple, Waco, Belton, Corsicana, and Copperas Cove.
This UIL contest is comprised of two parts; a stage performance and a sight reading performance. Bands are judged in each performance area and given an individual rating from each of six judges – three in each area. These scores are combined to give one overall rating for stage performance and another overall rating for sight reading for each performing group with a “1” rating being the coveted “Superior.”
Andrew Nixon, Director of Bands at Copperas Cove High School, said the event is the culmination of all the student’s hard work this year.
“I look forward to UIL competition each year,” Nixon said “It gives the kids a chance to showcase their talents in front of three evaluators and hopefully a large crowd.”
Each band must select three pieces to play in its stage performance. One selection must be a march. The other two selections are chosen from the UIL Prescribed Music List, a list of appropriate band pieces categorized by level of difficulty. Varsity band directors must choose their bands’ music from the highest difficulty categories (Grade 4 or 5) on the UIL Prescribed Music List while Non-Varsity and Sub Non-Varsity band directors choose music in Grades 2 – 4 which match each band’s skill level. Three judges critique each band, giving written feedback on various aspects of performance including balance, intonation, and musicality. Scores are posted after each performance with bands hoping to receive a Superior rating of “1” from each judge.
Following the stage performance, each band goes directly to the Sight Reading Contest. Students are given a piece of music that they have never seen before. Their director has a pre-determined amount of time to verbally explain the music by bringing attention to rhythm patterns, key changes, dynamic markings, and tempo changes. Students are allowed to finger through the music but cannot play during the director’s explanation period. After the verbal instruction period, the band then plays the music with their director conducting. There are three judges who individually critique each band on their ability to play this sight reading piece, giving each band a rating.
Autrianna Kemp, Junior clarinetist, will compete with the CCHS Wind Ensemble.
“UIL contest is a time where a bunch of talented people get to show off what they have been working on for months and then get rewarded for it,” she said. “It’s fun being a part of this band because I get to have experiences like this.”
If you go….
WHAT: UIL Region 8 High School 5A-6A Concert and Sight Reading Contest
WHERE: Lea Ledger Auditorium, 400 S. 25th Street, Copperas Cove
WHEN: Tuesday, April 12--Contest begins at 8:30 a.m. with the last performance beginning at 5:15 p.m.; Wednesday, April 13--Performances begin at 9:40 a.m. with the final performance at 4:40 p.m.
COST: Event is free and open to the public.
According to UIL rules, unauthorized video or audio recording is NOT permitted during the performances.