Honors band earns top honors at South Coast festival

Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., Alice Echo-News Journal

The Alice High School Honors Band received Best in Class and First Division honors at the South Coast Music Festival in Corpus Christi May 4 and 5.

They were competing against several large 4A and 5A bands from the Dallas and Houston areas.

Band Director Brian Herring said his students have worked very hard this year and he is proud of them.

"This is a good program and we have some great kids here," Herring said. "I'm proud of them and what they have accomplished this year."

Herring also remarked on the behavior of the students during this year, as they traveled to the many band contests and the out-of-state trip.

"We would have people walking up to our group at restaurants all the time, commenting that our students were the finest group of kids they had seen. The kids behaved wonderfully this year. It is a tribute not only to the students, but to their families as well. They're all good people," Herring said.

This year, the band program honored several students with scholarships.

Katie Anaya received the Alice Mother's Club Scholarship for $500. Juan Gabriel Gonzalez received a Band Boosters Scholarship for $800. Linda Lopez also received a Band Boosters Scholarship for $800. Trisha Diaz received the Harold Cobb Scholarship for $600 and the Bryce Taylor Award Scholarship, in the amount of $1,000.

Besides the band director recommendations, students also had to write an essay detailing what the AHS Band has meant to them.

"The Band Boosters have been very supportive this year. This is definitely one of the strongest organizations I've been around as a band director," Herring said. "Board President Lisa Ruelas has done a spectacular job, and the boosters have all worked very hard this year."

For his senior project this year, band member Jonathan Neumann raised more than $1,200 for the band program. He organized a concert as part of his project, dealing with the uses of technology in music.

He secured donations from both local individuals and companies to go toward the band program.

"I'm just happy that I could give back to the band program," Neumann said.