The North Lamar High School Panther Band has finished once again with a state win. While at the Texas Bandmasters Association Summer Convention in San Antonio on July 26, NLHS Band Director Randy Jones and Associate Director Jason R. Smith learned of the North Lamar Symphonic Band’s State Class 4A win that was held by the Association of Texas Small School Bands (ATSSB).
Each year the ATSSB holds the Outstanding Performance Series (OPS) competition for class 4A schools and smaller. The spring semester concert bands compete and advance from the region level to the area level and eventually up to the state level. At each level, from all the competitors by class, the best two march selections and best three concert pieces advance onto the next level.
"Out of the region level, we did very well," said Jones, "Our symphonic band’s (varsity band) march was first and our concert band's (non-varsity band) took second. In the concert piece category, the Symphonic Band took first and second, while our concert band took third. So, North Lamar swept all places advancing to area."
At the area level competition, which is five regions in East Texas from the river to the gulf, the North Lamar High School’s bands did very well. The Symphonic Band placed first in the march category and in the Concert Band placed second.
“We were very excited for our students,” said Smith. “To sweep the march category at area was pretty shocking because East Texas is known for its military bands that specialize in marches.
The Symphonic Band continued its dominance in the concert piece category by taking first place at area. North Lamar advanced three pieces of the five total to the state level.
This is the second year in a row that our non-varsity band has had a piece reach the state level. These kids are having to compete against other schools’ varsity bands, and they are beating them,” said Smith.
“We were very excited for the work the North Lamar band students put in and to see them be rewarded for their effort is humbling,” said Jones.
The three pieces that advanced to state were listened and ranked by a panel of five judges at the Texas Bandmasters Association Summer Convention in San Antonio on July 26. The North Lamar Symphonic Band finished first in the entire State Class 4A for their performance of Circus Bee by Henry Fillmore, and the Concert Band finished seventh in the entire state for their performance of Alhambra Grotto by K.L. King. And in the concert piece category, the Symphonic Band finished fifth overall with their performance of Philip Sparke’s Dance Movements. The Symphonic Band will receive a plaque and a CD recording of their march along with all the winners at the Texas Music Educators Association Convention in San Antonio in February.