CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A local marching band is headed to the state University Interscholastic League competition next week.
The band has been practicing their show, entitled "The Doorway," since Aug. 1. Per UIL rules, bands are not allowed to practice before that date. The show includes several songs that line up with the show's theme. Some of the songs include Chopin's Funeral March, Adagio in G minor by Remo Giazotto, and a recurring musical motif of Bob Dylan's Knockin' On Heaven's Door.
Calallen High School Director of Bands, Jeff Valperts is proud of their accomplishments leading up to the competition.
"Making the state marching contest - it's a giant honor," said Valperts. "First of all, because, as far as I'm concerned, Texas is the strongest band state in the country. And there are just fantastic programs across the board in the state of Texas. So, if you're lucky enough to qualify for the state marching contest, it's a really big deal."
The about 130 member band is one of 26 bands from all over Texas competing. Those 26 bands are each champions in their respective areas throughout the state.
"We are area E champions," said Valperts. "And our area, for marching band, is the largest area geographically in the state. It basically kind of goes from Houston, all the way down to the Rio Grande."
This will be the second year in a row that the band has made it this far. Usually, the UIL only allows bands to advance this far once every two years. But these past two years have been different due to the pandemic.
"Because of the 'Rona' situation, a lot of programs didn't get to, you know, participate last year," said Valperts." So this year UIL sort of made a waiver for everybody."
The band will start the preliminary part of the competition on Nov. 10 at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio at 12:30 p.m. and they hope to make it to the state finals that evening.
"We're really trying to train our band students to be great teammates and great people," said Valperts. "And, you know, hopefully, we're training them along the way through, you know, learning about teamwork and work ethic, how to be great citizens in the future. And for us, also, we try to tell each of the students that we want them, for every performance, to be the best individual that they can be. And then that's going to give us an opportunity to be the best Calallen band we can be."
The Calallen Independent School District announced that the band would be celebrated next Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. with a send-off to the competition in San Antonio. Fans of the band are encouraged to line up on Wildcat Dr. from the tennis courts to the baseball stadium.