Band director proud of the improvements made this school year

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

With their heads held high for a job well done, the Alice High School Marching Band returned from state competition at the Alamo late last night with its best showing at the event in the last 10 years.

The band performed extremely well, Director Brian Herring said, placing 23rd out of 25 bands at competition.

The band finished the season at state and beat several local band program records, including coming in 23rd place out of 229 bands across the state of Texas, which is the band's highest place in the last 10 years.

The marching band faced several solid bands at the Alamodome, including state champion Poteet High School from Mesquite and Connally High School in Austin, who were runners-up this year, officials said.

AHS beat out Waller High School from Waller and Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School from Orange, Texas. The band was also just one point shy of overtaking Seven Lakes High School from Katy in the preliminaries.

Herring said the level of competition in that part of the state is fierce, and said he felt really good about the band's performance at state.

"We don't see bands like those down here," Herring said, which is why the band participated in three contests before UIL, to try and prepare themselves for the caliber of bands they would encounter.

Herring said the band had not been to as many contests as other bands at state, many of which had been competing since mid-September, he said, but AHS still did well by far.

"This was their best performance of the year," Herring said. "Realistically, they did great. I'm proud of them getting there. We met a lot of our personal goals for the program this year."

Along with the place at state competition, the AHS band was also a State Honor Band Finalist in the spring of 2007. Receiving the two honors in the same year is an accomplishment no other band at AHS has done, Herring said.

"Our staff and the band directors put in a tremendous amount of effort this year. They worked extremely hard. Our marching has improved dramatically in the last two years," Herring said. "And we'll work to keep getting better."