ODEM – Each year in Texas two organizations run competitions for concert bands in Texas to determine the best bands in the state.
The Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) has run the ‘Honor Band’ competition since 1958 to select a band to perform at the State Music Convention to represent the best of their classification. The bands submit a recording of a full performance of three pieces to be judged as a whole concert versus the other bands in the competition at the region, then area, and finally the state level.
This year the Odem High School Wind Ensemble performed ‘Quality Plus,’ ‘An American Elegy,’ and ‘Flower Clock.’ On Wednesday, June 19, the hearing for Area ‘South’ was held, and for the first time in the school’s history the Odem High School Wind Ensemble advanced to the state level of the contest of this prestigious contest.
The second competition, which is run by the Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB), is called the Outstanding Performance Series. OPS is specifically designed for small schools 1A-4A. This contest is different from Honor Band in that each piece submitted competes on its own in the contest. The top march in the state, along with the two best concert selections in each classification are placed on a recording that is distributed to every small school director in the state.
At the hearing held on June 17, the Odem High School Wind Ensemble successfully earned first place and was named area champions for the ‘Concert March’ selection with their march entitled ‘Quality Plus’. They also advanced a second piece to state in the Concert Selection division, ‘An American Elegy.’
This is the first time in Odem High School history of advancing two pieces onto the final state round of the Outstanding Performance Series Contest. Only six bands in Class 3A advanced two or more pieces to state this year.
Final judging for both competitions that the students have advanced in will take place on July 25, as part of the annual Texas Bandmasters Association Convention.
The Odem High School Wind Ensemble is under the direction of Steven Rash and assistant director Nathan Williams.