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Yesterday, my old high school band was crowned the UIL 6A State Marching Band Champion.

This brings up so many memories and emotions, so excuse the rambling -

I remember watching the Marcus HS band performing their powerhouse of a show at BOA San Antonio 2011 and being amazed at how good they were.

I remember Roo telling us in 2013 how there was the “good, great, and OMG” types of bands, and how we were trying to break into being a consistently great band from being a consistently-good sometimes-great band.

I remember the shock and elation we felt in 2013 when we won Area D and went on to earn a bronze medal at 4A (now 5A) state: “shock the world”.

I remember the pride we felt in 2014 when we made it into BOA San Antonio finals for the very first time. For the first time, we got to stand in a full retreat in one of the most difficult competitions in the country.

But now -

they’re a group that other bands look up to and try to emulate.

they’ve broken into the “OMG” type of band.

they’ve shocked the world many times over this season alone

they’ve been to full retreat and under the spotlight more times than I can count anymore

According to someone on txbands, not only did they win the championship, they’re the first band in about a decade to win on their first finals appearance, they’re the first school from our district to win the 6A championship, and moreover they’re the first non-Dallas area band to win in over 20 years.

Every time I think of this I’m simply stunned at the magnitude of this accomplishment, just 7 years after we placed 28th in BOA San Antonio prelims.

This program now has a firm spot at the table with the big boy and big girl programs of the state. I’ve always had to introduce my school to college friends that were in HS marching band as “we’re a school in the same district as Cedar Park and Vandegrift”. And it makes me so, so happy that these students will never have to do that again, as they will now be recognized by their own merits.

Vista Ridge HS Band, congratulations on your championship. The honor belongs not to just one person, but to every student, educator, parent that has ever set foot in the band hall. The memories you’ve made this past week will stay with you for a lifetime.

I can’t wait to see where you go next.