The Ricebird High School band played in an area UIL contest last Saturday but did not advance past the preliminary round of competition.

Although they did not survive Saturday’s foray, students still had success this season by receiving a first division rating in regional competition for the second year in a row after more than 10 years without receiving recognition with the previous band director.

“We were upset that the kids weren’t able to survive, but I think they did very well and should be incredibly proud of how far they came,” ECISD band director Rolando Cantu said. “Despite not moving on to state the kids still had fun. We weren’t ready yet, and it showed. All we can do is get better.”

The band played a jazz ensemble inspired by New Orleans that they practiced and played during games all year.

“There were parts of the band that were not in sync, and that affected us,” Cantu said. “We had some people playing at the wrong time or not paying attention to detail. We learned that we all have to work together in order for us to sound the best possible.”

The competition, held at Calallen High School in Corpus Christi, was the bands last of the school year.

“Honestly, the kids did great, especially the drummers. They finally really pulled out their best stuff,” Cantu said. “Our Soloists were amazing too, like Shelby Kirpeck. She plays the trumpet and got better every time she went out there. She held us all together.”

Despite the loss, Cantu still contributes the band’s success to the people around him.

“I am still very proud of the kids and their effort these last two years,” Cantu said “ The parents were excellent, and I am grateful for their continued support. I can’t wait to show them what we got next year.”

The Ricebird band is done for the year when it comes to competing, but they will still see action on the field against Needville. The band will also continue in the playoffs as the  Ricebirds have managed a succesful season with just one loss.

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