Band receives straight ones at competition
November 3, 2017
This past Wednesday, the Battlin’ Bear Band performed in the UIL marching competition at McNeese State University and received straight ones for their performance.
The band practices every day after school and during the summer, but when Harvey struck, it put the band three weeks behind in preparation for the show.
“Before, during, and after Harvey, everyone just wanted to work hard and do better and that’s just what we did,” junior drum major Erika Cook said.
Receiving straight ones means that three of the judges thought that the band did superior in marching, musicality, and visual effects.
“The devastation of Harvey gave us a lot less time to prepare but we were still able to pull the rabbit out of the hat and perform a great show,” senior band captain Tommy Holland said.
Each year, the band continues to grow and improve. Last year, the band advanced to the State marching competition and placed 11th, one point away from the State finals. This was a huge step from the previous State year, where the band placed 19th.
“Each year you should try to get better and strive for the next best thing,” senior drum captain Ryder Huffman said.
Band attends solo and ensemble
Last weekend, many band members participated in a solo and ensemble competition, which is where an individual or a small group has the opportunity to play for a judge and receive comments and a rating on a scale of 1-5, with a 1st division being the best.
At last year’s solo and ensemble competition, the band received a total of 76 superior medals and this year stepped up with 50 more.
“A total of 63 students earned a 1st division medal,” band director Jose Ochoa said. “In total we earned 126 Superior medals.”
Solos are a lot harder to prepare than what they normally do for competition, so this gives each student the opportunity to learn challenging music and improve as a musician, while also receiving feedback on the performance.
“Three large ensembles (Woodwind Choir, Brass Choir, Jazz Ensemble), two percussion ensembles, and four small ensembles [competed at solo and ensemble,]” Ochoa said.
Most participate in this contest because it puts the focus on each individual student. It helps make each student better due to all of the hard work invested in each competing event, regardless of what rating they receive. It also allows the student to receive positive feedback and learn what areas they need to improve.
“Overall, it improves each individual participating in the competition, therefore making us as a group stronger,” Ochoa said.
Shimmying to Sweepstakes
Just recently the Honey Bears competed in their last competition of the year at the Coastal Dance Championship hosted at Goose Creek Memorial High School. The girls won several awards due to their continuous effort they have put in.
“My goal going into the year was to improve and I believe I have met that goal,” Honey Bear Sydney Peet said.
The officers of the team are senior Tilor Armfield, senior Allison Ball, senior Albanie Calais, junior Daisy Sutton, and junior Harli Foreman. Accoring to their advisor Kimberly Scott, they have done an exceptional job this year cleaning dances and working on technique. The girls competed four solos, one trio, and six team routines. The trio included Armfield, Calais, and Foreman. The 11/12 grade Trio won the First Place Championship.
“I have learned a lot from being a Honey Bear,” Peet said. “For example, a dance routine being a team effort, and having to work together in order to look good.”
The girls received some critiques from the last competition that focused on timing and spacing. Although, they worked on those skills continuously in practice and are very pleased with the adjustments they made. The team also won a Sweepstakes Award, which means three or more team routines scored 90/100 points or higher. The Contemporary, Hip-hop, Lyrical, and Military each earned a First Place Championship in their category. The Jazz and Flash-dance routines earned an Honorable Mention.
“One thing that has come a long way, but could still use some work is turns,” Scott said. “Our single pirouettes are clean, but our doubles and fouettes could be better.”
The Honey Bears also received a Judges’ Award for Excellent Overall Presentation. Ten Honey Bears competed in the Miss High Kick Competition and Peet was in the top eight, allowing her to have advanced to Finals. Scott was very satisfied with the results of the competition by the performance exceeding her expectations.
“This group has worked together better than any other group I have ever coached,” Scott said. “I will truly miss the fun that we have had together and the stellar performances they have delivered.”