• Members of the Breckenridge High School marching band and flag corps performed during the UIL Region 7 marching contest in Early on Saturday, Oct 22. The Buckaroo Band scored three ones in the contest for a first division. Click either arrow along the side of the photo to see more images from the contest. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge American)

Buckaroo Band scores a First Divisionin marching contest

Performing an array of songs by the group Journey, the Breckenridge High School marching band scored a first division at the UIL Region 7 marching contest in Early on Saturday.

During the competition, about 20 bands performed their marching shows and were scored by three judges. Each judge gave a score between one and five, with one being the best and five being the worst. The Buckaroo Band scored three ones in the contest for a first division.

“We were very, very happy with what happened on Saturday,” said BHS Band Director Dane Richardson. “That was probably the most prepared group of kids I’ve taken to a marching contest. They did really well. We got a lot of compliments from other directors and the staff there. I really feel like they did an incredible job.”

Richardson said getting three ones is a really good indicator of how the band performed. He said sometimes a band will get two ones and then have a two.

“It’s a really good deal when all the judges agree,” he said “It was unanimous.”

The four Journey songs performed by band were, “Any Way You Want It,” “Open Arms,” “Wheel In the Sky” and “Don’t Stop Believing.”

Richardson said they looked at a lot of different options when they put together the show. He said it had been a while since they performed a show they consider a fun show.

“My first year here in 2008, we did a Chicago show, and that was a lot of fun. “The kids did very well,” he said. “Since then we’ve tried to up our game.”

Richardson said Abilene Wiley High School had performed the Journey show several years ago and the BHS band teachers had been talking about trying it. “It’s really a pretty difficult show,” he said. “We were just thinking about something just having fun.”

He said he felt like the students responded very well to performing the songs by Journey and some of them were very excited because they recognized some of the songs. He said the biggest challenge with the students in terms of style was the whole idea of the 1980s power ballad.

“For us ‘Open Arms’ was probably the most challenging thing as far as music style; getting them to understand, because that was not from their generation. Trying to make them understand slow, powerful music, as far as rock goes.”

He said while “Don’t Stop Believing” was a pretty recognizable tune for the students, he didn’t believe many of them recognized “Any Way You Want It.”

During the contest, the band performed the same show they performed during halftime during the football games on Friday nights. However, Richardson said, the large Journey banners they used during the contest were first used during the halftime shows at the game in Bowie and last week’s game against Boyd at home. Eric Hill built the frames and added the wheels, the frames were painted by students.

“It took us a while to decide how we were going to mount them and to get them painted,” he said.

The band’s next competition is on March 1 in Anson. Richardson said on that day, the band actually competes in two competitions, a concert and a sight reading competition.

He said in the first competition they will sit down and play a concert for a panel of judges. Then they go into the sight reading room for the second competition.

“They pass out music we’ve never seen before,” he said. “I have about seven minutes to explain it to the kids, and then we play that music like it was a concert for a different panel of judges.”

Richardson said when a band gets a First Division in marching like they did on Saturday and then a First Division in concert, and First Division in sight reading they have a Sweepstakes, which the Buckaroo Band won last year. He said he hopes to repeat the Sweepstakes again this year.

Last year the band advanced to Area in the marching competition, but since bands only get to advance every other year, the Anson contest will be the only other contest the band competes in this year.

“Every other year, if you get a one, you get to advance to Area,” Richardson said. “It’s kind of like the play offs for bands. This is not a year where we advance to marching contest. That was last year, and we do it again next year.”


The Breckenridge American


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