Pride Marching Band To Guest Perform At State High School Band Contest


Kristen Taylor

Drum Majors and Color Guards visually announce the Pride Marching Band during the Homecoming Parade.

Acacia Munoz, Staff Reporter

The Pride Marching Band has been invited to the University Interscholastic League (UIL) 6A State Marching Band Contest on Nov. 8.

The UIL exists to provide educational extracurricular academic, athletic, and music contests. The 6A State Marching Band Contßest is a two-day competition in San Antonio, Texas’ Alamodome Stadium. The competition will begin on Nov. 8, where the biggest high school marching bands in Texas are competing to see who is the best of the best in the preliminary. The finals will take place the next day.

The Pride Marching Band will perform at the end of the preliminary contest.

“There will be about 40 marching bands sitting in the stadium waiting to find out who is the finals,” Alan Goodwin, director of the Pride Marching Band said. “The audience is at its biggest so that is why it’s a privilege for us to do this performance.”

Dr. Bradley Kent, director of UIL music and former director of bands at Texas A&M University-Commerce, saw a video of the band’s activity over the last couple of years and invited them to the contest. This kind of opportunity is given to big universities such as the University of Texas and Baylor University.

“It’s kind of unusual for a smaller school like us to get a chance so we take it as a compliment,” Goodwin said. “I’m excited for the students to perform in front of a musically intelligent audience. When we have football games, people love coming to see the game and they enjoy watching the band, but they don’t necessarily understand all the little parts and pieces that make the band performance.”

The Pride Marching Band has not only been invited to stay to watch the final 12 bands compete during the finale as a sign of appreciation, but the drumline will also perform as the competing bands mass on the field for the award ceremony.  

All 203 band members will be attending and performing. Faculty, staff, and graduate students will attend for support.

“They’re going to be fantastic and are already doing tremendous work,” Goodwin said.

This is not the first time the Pride Marching Band performs for the UIL. In 2012, they played for the 3A State Marching Contest, a competition for smaller high schools and programs. Those who saw the band’s performance investigated the university and music department and decided to attend A&M-Commerce. The same thing is expected for this year.

“We had a lot of positive comments from band directors all over the state of Texas,” Goodwin said.

Malik Heard, a vocal music major at A&M-Commerce, will be singing at the competition. He was recently on “The Voice” Season 10. After his audition, coaches Christina Aguilera and Pharrell Williams both selected him to be on their team, but he could only be on one and chose Team Christina. Heard did not make it to the finals, but he had the audience on their feet during each performance.

“It’s unusual for a marching band to have a performer like Malik but we are excited for him to sing in front of an audience like that,” Goodwin said.

The UIL is expecting 25,000 people at the live contest  and another 20,000 watching online.