Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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April 5, 2013

Rice band earns third consecutive UIL Sweepstakes

Rice — The Rice High School band has completed a trio of UIL Competitions this school year and earned the UIL Sweepstakes Award for the third straight 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.

October 2012 was the third appearance for the Rice Band in UIL Marching Competition, which was held at La Vega High School in the Waco area. The band was awarded 1st division ratings from all three judges for their show “Rock Phases.” The band repeated this accomplishment at Concert and Sight-Reading Competition in Groesbeck on March 7, receiving 1st division ratings from all six UIL judges. Drum Majors for the band this year are John Zellar, Kristyn Stewart and Blake Sykes. Drumline Captain is Janette Orona.

In February, Rice tenor saxophone player John Zellar was honored with an invitation to perform at UIL State Solo Contest in Austin, which is to be held on May 25. In January, band members John Zellar, Blake Sykes, Sergio Diaz and Trey Van Zuuk were honored with placement in the ATSSB All-Region Band.

This past fall, the Rice Band was also named Best In Class at the Teague Invitational Marching Contest, and earned Best Drumline honors at the U.S. Bands Groesbeck Classic Marching Contest. Prior to their spring UIL events, the band received all 1st division ratings for their concert performance at McGregor Invitational Band Contest. Band Officers for this year are Jake Defoore, president; Blake Sykes, vice-president; Kristyn Stewart, secretary; Janette Orona,  sergeant at arms; Cleo Rosas, social chairman; and Louann Titsworth, historian.

“What these students have accomplished over the last several years has continually amazed me,” said Bill Anthony, band director. “All the students have worked so hard, and shown so much pride. The student leaders have done an excellent job. The administrators and parents in Rice have been totally supportive. I’m very pleased that the students have been recognized and rewarded in so many ways.”

The band will perform at Sea World Adventure Park on May 18, in conjunction with a tour of historic San Antonio and other activities. The band will present their Spring Concert on the evening of May 30 at Rice High School.

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