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On Monday night, Oct. 17, amidst roaring winds and blowing sand, the Sweetwater High School Marching Band put on a classy performance to earn them straight â€ś1sâ€ť in UIL marching competition in Abilene. â€śWe knew the bad weather was on the way, and it hit just as the band was preparing to perform,â€ť explained band booster photographer Carola Martin. â€śWe braced ourselves, and the band played and marched like it was a walk in the park.â€ť
This marked the third contest in a row that the Mustang Band received all superior ratings from judges, starting with the Breckenridge Buckaroo Festival, then the Wylie Big Country Contest and finally at UIL.
The judges showered Sweetwater with praise. Adjudicator Jim Barrow, from Pampa said in his written critique, â€śBand, your sound is outstanding â€” very controlled and still energetic! Really creative marching ideas. Awesome show concept. Wonderful execution. I loved it!â€ť
Adjudicator Jim Cude from Whitesboro added, â€śSome amazing individual players in this band. I am really impressed with the individual and ensemble sound. Nice balance, blend and style of playing. This group has great individual and ensemble marching technique, too! Great band!â€ť
Finally, adjudicator David Eakins from Graham added in his written critique, â€śGreat balanced sounds! Everyone does their part individually and contributes greatly to the overall band sounds. Incredible soloists â€” the best Iâ€™ve heard in years. Overall great marching. Super teaching and learning!â€ť
The UIL stadium was buzzing about Sweetwaterâ€™s music, marching and special effects. â€śOne key to this showâ€™s success was our parent support,â€ť explained Andrea Barkley, Mustang Colorguard instructor. â€śThe Boosterâ€™s work with sound systems, props and percussion gave the students the opportunity to do their very best.â€ť
The bandâ€™s next local performance will be on Friday, Oct. 28 at Sweetwaterâ€™s final regular season home game against Brownwood. Their half-time show will also feature student musicians in grades 6, 7 and 8.