Redcoat Band Receives Perfect Score!
On Saturday, October 20th the Gainesville High School Redcoat Band took the field in UIL Region Marching competition. The Redcoats earned a unanimous first division rating, a perfect score, a goal the band has been striving to reach for the past ten years.
Record setting rains have caused most bands to be significantly behind in preparation for this year’s competition season. “It’s been the most challenging season that any of us have ever seen, and many of have seen over a quarter of a century,” Mr. Rutherford, Gainesville Director of Bands and Director of Fine Arts said. “It has been a real advantage to have the facility that we have with the indoor field, and we are so thankful that we have a coaching staff that not only makes the facility available as much as possible, but encourages to use it,” Rutherford said. According to Rutherford, many programs have not been able to finish putting their completed show on the field due to the extensive rain.
The 2018-19 band totals 50 students, with a majority being freshmen. A band comprised of 60% freshman puts the band at a disadvantage in 4A competition as compared with other (much larger) bands that are made up of marchers with much more experience. This initial disadvantage ultimately served as motivation for these students to work even harder, and to out produce their competition. The GHS band hits the field daily at 7am, with exercise routines that include cardio training, strength training, and stretching. Then they hit the grid for another hour of band practice. On Tuesdays, they also practice for two hours in the evening.
“Getting to lead this group every day has been an amazing experience,” said Drum Major, Mason Lorne. “I feel that we have something special going on this year, and I have high hopes for what this group can accomplish; not just in marching band, but as a total program,” Lorne said.
The contest judges must agree, judging by some of the statements that they recorded on their comment sheets and commentary recordings. One of the judges wrote, “Ensemble sounds – very refined. Nice texture and sonority.” Another judge wrote “Nice individual sounds, and Great, warm, full band sounds. Good crisp marching, and sharp visuals.” All three judges awarded the band a first division rating – a perfect score.
“The entire staff has been excited about the potential of this group. We will be working even harder this week to prepare for the area competition on Saturday,” Mr. Rutherford said. “Regardless of how the rankings go, I couldn’t be more proud of these students, and more appreciative of the support we have received from the Band Boosters, GHS staff, and GHS and GISD administration and Board of Trustees.”
The Redcoat Band takes the field in Area competition on Saturday, October 27th, at Denton Collins Stadium.