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Students in the Cotulla and Dilley high school bands competed last week in the annual University Interscholastic League Concert and Sightreading Contest and earned the highest attainable scores for their performances.
Due to health and safety concerns during the coronavirus pandemic, this year’s contest was held with judges visiting schools, instead of large groups of students gathering at a host city.
Touring South Texas on Wednesday, April 7, judges attended concert performances by the high school bands that had enrolled in the competition and then observed the bands being instructed in how to perform pieces of music they had never seen or rehearsed before.
Division I ratings of ‘Superior’ were awarded to both the Cotulla High School Cowboy Band and the Dilley High School Grey Wolf Band for their work.
Cotulla’s award has also earned the CHS Band the coveted Sweepstakes trophy for earning the top score in both the Concert & Sightreading Contest and the UIL Marching Band Contest in which the students participated in November.
High school bands were given the option of taking part in one, both or none of the UIL contests this year, as concerns persisted over the health and safety risks involved in attending. While neither Pearsall nor Dilley high school bands competed in the marching contest last fall, Cotulla sent its band to the competition and was rewarded with a Division I rating for the performance on the field.
At last week’s Concert & Sightreading Contest, the Dilley High School Band performed “Voyageur March” by Frank Halferty, “Sakura” by Mike Story, and “Armory” by Randall Standridge.
The Cotulla High School Band’s concert performance included the “Torch of Liberty March” by Karl King and James Swearingen, “As Twilight Falls” by Robert Sheldon, and “Japanese Pictures” by Mixon.
Both school performances and the unrehearsed pieces earned Cotulla and Dilley Division I ratings from each of the judges, for a total of three each.
Judging was undertaken by Leo Garza from Carrizo Springs, David Solis from Eagle Pass ISD, and Juan Carlos Rodriguez from San Antonio’s’ Harlandale ISD.
Directors of the Cotulla High School Band are Jaime Martinez, Marleni Ramirez, Francisco Ramirez and Elio Ramirez Jr.
Directors of the Dilley High School Band are Terri Robertson and Calvin Goetsch.
School administrators and trustees are extending their congratulations to the high school bands on their achievements in the face of steep challenges during the contest seasons.