Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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December 6, 2012

Rice High School band completes winning fall season

Corsicana — The Rice High school and Middle school bands will perform in their winter concerts on Dec. 20 at the high school. The Middle School students will perform at 6:30 p.m., with the high school band scheduled to start at 8 p.m.

It’s been another winning year for the Rice band members, and for the band itself.

The Rice High School Marching Band earned the highest possible first division rating from all UIL marching judges this fall for the third year in a row.

Only nine class 2A bands out of twenty-two in UIL Region 8 earned this honor, which the band students refer to as “straight ones.”  The band’s marching show program this year was titled “Rock Phases.” Drum majors for the band this year are John Zellar, Kristyn Stewart and Blake Sykes, all of whom are juniors at Rice High School. The band president is Jake Defoore, a senior trombone player. Other elected band officers include Blake Sykes, Janette Orona, Paige Sorrells, Louann Titsworth, and Bernadette Rosas.

In addition to their UIL honors, the Rice band received all first division ratings at the Teague Invitational Marching Contest and was named “Best In Class” for division 2A.

The band also marched at the Groesbeck Showcase, which is sponsored by the national marching band organization “USBands.” At Groesbeck, the band earned the “Best Drumline” award. Drumline captain for the band is Janette Orona, who is in her senior year at Rice High School.

In July, the Rice High School Band advanced to State Finals in Texas Honor Band Competition for 2012. The contest is conducted every other year by the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA), the largest association of music teachers in the United States. Twelve Texas bands were awarded a spot in the state competition, which was held in San Antonio. The Rice band placed fourth overall at state, with two of the five judges awarding the band second place.

The Rice Bands have also had four outstanding students selected to All-Region Band for 2012-2013. John Zellar and Blake Sykes were named to the Region 8 High School Band, while Sergio Diaz and Trey Van Zuuk were named to the Middle School Band.

Both bands will perform concerts in Groesbeck on January 19, 2013. John Zellar (tenor saxophone) was named first chair in the band, and both Zellar and Blake Sykes (trumpet) were named as All-Area qualifiers who will participate in the audition process for Texas All-State Band. The four Rice students were among a small number of students from 2A schools to earn a spot the Region 8 All-Region Bands, which include over 120 students from schools in class 3A, 2A and 1A.

Rice band director Bill Anthony says “these student’s talent and leadership have been vital to our band’s success in our regional and state competitions over the past three years. Their commitment and hard work earns honors for them personally and for our band as a group.”


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