George West band earns Sweepstakes Award
by Pam Sehlke
Apr 08, 2009 | 1557 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The George West High School Band won "Sweepstakes" at the UIL high school band contest. The band scored all 'ones' at the contest and the marching contest last Fall. Back row, left to right (zig-zag): Dr. Jim Williamson "Doc" (Band Director) , Hannah Davis, D’Ann Lane, Wesley Iley, Luke Sehlke, Brittany Richardson, Jessica Gassaway, Candace Gonzales, Winston Daniels, Yo Han Kang, Viviana Lopez, Colton Warren, Deven Pierce, Robby Barta, Juan Paiz,  Aiza Gonzales, Karen Rock, James Perez, Joseph Gonzales, Christian Morris, Naomi Yarbrough, Sammy Gassaway, Katie Valverde, Alyssa Crank, Lauren Cordani, Mr. Cordani (Assistant Band Director). Kneeling: Sarah Reagan, Samantha Cantu, Zachary McAllister, Hillary Sellman, Sarah Roach, Emily Snider, Elizabeth Cansino, Mario Rodriguez, Chelsea Browning, Nicole Garza.
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This was no “April Fool’s” joke. The Big Blue Band from Longhorn Land received perfect scores from all six UIL judges in concert and sight-reading. These scores, combined with the perfect scores from the fall marching contest, earned them the prestigious Sweepstakes Award.

One skeptical band member asked Doc if he was playing a joke on them. “Oh, no”, he assured, “Sweepstakes is no joking matter.” George West has not earned this honor in almost a decade.

Students from all over the South Zone of Region XIV traveled to Robstown High School on April 1 to compete in the UIL Band Contest.

Judges Dan Aleman, Ben Chasan, and Charles Munsell rated the concert performance with superior scores. The band performed S.S. Eagle March by Bennett, The Willows of Winter by Brooks, and An American Elegy by Ticheli. An American Elegy was written in tribute to the students and teachers who lost their lives in the Columbine shooting of 1999, and includes the Alma Mater of the school.

Featured performers included: Hannah Davis–Flute, Lauren Cordani–Oboe, Hillary Sellman–French Horn, Sara Reagan–Clarinet, Luke Sehlke–Trumpet, and Winston Daniels–French Horn.

Sight reading judges were Bob Howard, Juan Jose Meave, and Albert Salazar. Once again, the George West musicians received only superior scores. This competition is more difficult. Students are given sheet music, and they have a specific amount of time to prepare the selection. Time is divided into two sections, general explanation and summary explanation. During the first period the students “finger” the music. Directors are allowed to give verbal cues or reminders and answer questions for students as they look through the music for seven minutes. The director is allowed to count and direct during the second period of fingering, but cannot play or allow students to tap or perform the music. The band then has one chance to play the new piece with as few mistakes as possible.

Students will now begin work on next year’s marching music, as well as preparing for their spring concert. The band travels to San Antonio in a few days for a showcase performance and their annual awards banquet.

On May 19 they will present their spring concert for the public. Congratulations to the band members, directors, parents, and all those who make their success possible.
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October 15, 2009
GW band received sweepstakes 6 years ago, back in 2003 and also in 1969. Rauschuber's were there in 2003 and I don't know about 1969. Congrats Longhorn Band!!!