Editor: Shannon Cottongame
Had this been a state year, the Whitney High School band would have earned a trip to the Alamodome after breaking two school records and earning the bronze at last weekend’s UIL Area D Marching Band Competition in Robinson.
Twenty-five bands competed in the preliminary round of the contest, and the Wildcat band placed fifth and advanced to the final round. Whitney clearly dominated the first round at area, earning their first record break of the day. The top 10 bands advanced to finals, where the Wildcats climbed up two more spots to earn bronze, which is the band’s highest placement at area in school history.
The UIL’s State Marching Band Contest is held every other year, and Whitney’s performance would have qualified the band for a trip to state if the contest were held this year.
Band Director Josh Nowlin commented: “The kids have worked so hard for this. Non-advancing years present a challenge of motivation for our students, but we tell our kids that we will work to be our best regardless of how far we think we can go. We always want to be our best and we always want to be better than we were yesterday. That’s how we work. Results happen when we focus on improving ourselves and every individual in the band every time we step onto the field or into the band hall. Third place at area, a new record, is a pretty powerful indicator of the effort these kids put in.”
The band earned straight 1’s, the highest rating, all season between their pre-UIL contest in Troy and the UIL regional contest in McGregor. This is the seventh year in a row the band has earned a superior rating at the UIL regional contest.
The Wildcat band’s 2022 show is entitled “Battle for the Back Yard” and features music showcasing bugs.
The ants march in with “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” The bees “buzz” with Vaughn William’s “Shepherd’s Hay.” The caterpillars turn into butterflies via the “Overture to the Wasps,” also by Williams. And in the finale, the “Not So Itsy Bitsy Spider” spins together a melodic web with the “Sorcerers’ Apprentice” by Paul Dukas.
Judges’ comments were overwhelmingly positive about the band’s performance, calling it a fun and joyful show. The band was also complemented on its “impeccable execution of visuals and marching fundamentals.”
Nowlin said, “All of these students deserve recognition, however we’d like to recognize these soloists: Prila Mcintyre, Antwone Romero, Kacie Davis, Tabitha Johnson, Bryan Bee Wheeler and Exterminator Specialists Ryan Ponder, Jonah Cottongame and Chaz Shoaff.”
The director added, “The band would like to thank our uniform crew, Nayelli Estrada and Marylin Hatfield, for helping make the band look the part every time we take the field. The band would also like to thank the boosters who feed us, the parents who literally drive the band wagon to every event and all the parents who help make our band program successful.”
A commemorative shirt is in the works that features all of the characters from the show. The band would like to invite any local pest control companies interested in sponsoring the shirt to contact Nowlin at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
The Whitney band is directed by Michael Wilson, Sheri Hayes and Nowlin.
You can catch the band performing at halftime on Friday nights, and Nowlin noted that the middle school band and Big Blue Jazz Band concert is scheduled for Thursday, December 15, at Whitney Middle School.