Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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April 10, 2014

Rice High School band earns fourth sweepstakes win

Corsicana — The Rice High School band has completed their 2013-2014 UIL Competitions and earned the UIL Sweepstakes Award for the fourth consecutive year. The UIL Band sweepstakes award is reserved for groups who receive 1st division ratings in Marching, Concert and Sight-Reading competitions during an academic year. Twenty-one Class-2A high school bands competed in UIL Region 8 contests this year, and Rice was one of only six in the region to earn full sweepstakes honors. The Rice band was one of only two schools to receive 1st division ratings from all judges.

October 2013 was the fourth appearance for the Rice Band in UIL Marching Competition, which was held at the University of Mary Hardin Baylor in Belton. The band was awarded 1st division ratings from all three judges for their show “Symphonic Rock.” The band repeated this accomplishment at UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Competition in Groesbeck on March 6, receiving 1st division ratings from all six judges.

In February, Rice Band members John Zellar, Blake Sykes, and Blake Starkey were honored with an invitation to perform at UIL State Solo Contest in Austin, which is to be held on May 26. In January, John Zellar and Blake Sykes along with band member Olivia Zellar were honored with placement in the ATSSB All-Region Band. Zellar advanced to Area auditions, where he was 1st runner-up for a position in the All-State Band.

This past fall, the Rice Band also earned 1st division ratings at the Teague Invitational Marching Contest, as well as earning the trophy for Best Drum Majors. At the USBands Groesbeck Classic Marching Contest, the band earned first place among schools in their UIL classification. Band Officers for this year are Blake Sykes (president), Nick Westbrook (vice president), Kristyn Stewart (secretary), Cleo Rosas (social chairman), and Taylor Zhanel (historian). Drum Majors for the band this year are John Zellar, Blake Sykes, and Blake Starkey. Drumline Captain is Kristyn Stewart.

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