Benavides band earns straight one's in concert

Melissa Cantu Trevino
Alice Echo News Journal

BENAVIDES - Over the weekend, the Benavides band accomplished a milestone in their band career that hadn't happened in the district for about 20 years, said John Vela, band director with the Benavides Independent School District.

"They got straight one's in concert. They've been working real hard," Vela said. 

The band of 20 students went to Falfurrias High School for UIL Concert and Sight-reading Contest on Saturday, April 10.

Benavides band students earn straight one's at UIL Concert and Sight-reading contest.

"With the pandemic we had a bunch of kids at home virtual and we had some that were face-to-face. We had been working the music and, finally, last  Monday we met with (most) of the kids. They came, learned the music within a week to be able to play it (at concert), Vela said. "Last year, we didn't get to go because of the pandemic. It got canceled which was a big disappointment for use because the band was doing really well last year. In my opinion, they were poised to do very well at concert. The previous year, they made straight one's in sight-reading and in concert, it was a one-two-two."

The day came for the band to show themselves and the judges their talents. The three selections the band played Kensington March, Ming Court and Summit Fanfare.

Benavides band

Senior Kevin Garcia and Seth Martin had been practicing their music, but in different ways. Martin, who was on virtual learning, practiced without his baritone. He played in the air counting rests and counting certain measures. Garcia was practicing his music in class with several other band students, but when he didn't have his drum set he took a pillow and drumsticks to continue to perfect his music.

"We were pretty anxious. I was sure that we were going to do well because I've heard how we play," Richard Vela said. Vela is a senior and plays trumpet with the band.

Benavides band

"I didn't think, I just went and played the music. The anxiety built up right as we walked off the stage and I was worried and scared because we all have our own little mess ups," Richard Vela said.

Band director John Vela announced the judge's scores and the band cheered with excitement, said Kayla Silguero, freshman band student. 

Benavides band

"I was so scared because in the last song I played one note too early. I was thinking it would affect the whole band. When Mr. Vela read us the scores, I got so excited, we all got so excited. We all contribute to the band and play our parts, but it Mr. Vela who puts us all together. The scores were a result of the collaboration between all of us," Silguero said.

Martin said he had face in the band and the results confirmed his faith. The accomplishment by the band achieved a goal for Martin that he had since eighth grade.

"I'm very proud of our accomplishment. Our baseball (team) is doing good so is our track. This accomplishment shows what band is doing and we can start our own legacy," Garcia said.

The band is made up of eighth, nineth, 10th and 12th graders. Students are Oran Benavides - baritone, Lilliana Cano - clarinet, Lilia Franco - flute, Edna Garcia - flute, Harleigh Garcia - clarinet, Jacob Garcia - percussion, Kevin Garcia - percussion, Palmira Guerra - clarinet, Joe David Hernandez - trombone, Tom Jimenez - trumpet, Seth Martin - baritone, Ashley Pena - percussion, Melody Perez - trumpet, Kayla Silguero - clarinet, Fillip Trevino - trumpet, Victoria Vallejo - bartone, Richard Vela - trumpet, Sandra Vela - flute, Rolando Villarreal - tuba and Christopher Williams - trumpet.