Whitney High School band students wrap up intense competitive events

Submitted by Band Director Josh Nowlin

January 12, 2022

Last Saturday, the Whitney High School band wrapped up a unique competition where students competed at the state level with literally tens of thousands of other band students across the state. They learned college level music and performed in a blind audition for a panel of five experts on their instruments. It’s very intense!

Out of all of our high school band members, we had four students advance to the Region level: Cadence Bidwell, Jonah Cottongame, Antwone Romero and Jerrin Vanlandingham. They will perform a special concert with a master level clinician next Saturday, January 15, at Jarrell High School around 7:30 in the evening.

Jonah, Antwone and Jerrin all advanced to Area (Cadence was one away) to compete again with six other regions worth of top students on their instrument. Antwone came in third on alto, Jerrin seventh on bass clarinet, and Jonah came in second in percussion.

Jonah was the first WHS percussionist to make area (last year and this year) and is now the first percussionist in Whitney history to have advanced to the All-State Band! He’ll perform a special concert with the ATSSB All-State Concert Band in San Antonio on February 12.

Congrats to all of the students who participated in the ATSSB All-Region Process!

Here’s some really cool stats for band. Granted, the world doesn’t show our stats on ESPN like they do for sports, but they are out there and these numbers drive a few points home.

The “Disaggregated Data” (ATSSB Region Rankings for 1A through 4A Schools) for band shows that we have more than 10% of our high school band program making region.

That’s been consistent for the past four years. We’re at the top of the 36-40 schools that are even able to participate in this rigorous event. Very few schools are able to maintain a 10% rate or higher; most are lower, especially several of the 4A schools. Only a few other schools are able to maintain a higher rate of region band student involvement than Whitney, and they all have more directors and kids. Way to go Whitney and way to go Wildcats!

Our middle school band has about a 50% percent rate for the ATSSB Middle School Band. Go Mr. Wilson and the WMS band as well! All of these students will perform region concerts next Saturday in Jarrell.

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