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Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Band One Spot Away From Area Finals

The+Eagle+Marching+Band+performed+its+show%2C+Both+Sides+of+the+Rainbow%2C+at+the+Area+contest.
Courtesy of Google Images
The Eagle Marching Band performed its show, Both Sides of the Rainbow, at the Area contest.

The Lake Ridge Marching Band took the field in Bedford on October 21 for the UIL Area B Marching Contest. 35 bands competed, and the Eagles placed 13th in prelims, being just one place away from making finals. The band was hoping to advance to finals, and even to state for the first time since 2013, but despite the results, Alberto Ocasio, Associate Band Director, is still proud of his students. Area B is known for its competitiveness and for having some of the top bands in Texas. He felt like Lake Ridge did everything they could and that his students should be proud of their performance.

“We can’t control what they place us. You always want the best for your students, so it is frustrating to get really close and not achieve your goals. But you’ve got to keep in mind you can’t control what other bands do. There’s no defense in band. There’s only offense,” said Ocasio.

The band has made finals at most other competitions this season, and even placed third at Preview of Champions in September, so the results at Area caught many people off guard. However, a majority of the band felt like they had their best run of the show on Saturday. Landon Cohea, senior, expected the band to place higher following the strong performance, but he is choosing to think positively and focus on improving.

“I enjoyed seeing the result of all of the work that the band has put into this year’s show. I felt like it was the best performance we could have had for the competition and that everyone tried their best. I was disappointed, but I knew that I shouldn’t let that stop my motivation and I should keep working to be better,” said Cohea.

The band spent about eight hours rehearsing each week before Area. Focusing on everything from sound to visuals to individual marching technique, the leadup to Area was intense, but it helped them improve many aspects of their show. The band members learned how to work as a group, and Alex Kostis, senior, feels that the numerous hours spent together contributed to their success this season.

“I think we performed our best on Saturday and I think it was because of our countless hours of practicing every week. Marching band is really a team effort, and each one of us matters as much as the rest,” said Kostis.

 All in all, Ocasio was pleased with the band’s performance. He explained prior to the competition that he would be proud of his students if they just performed the way they had been practicing and fulfilled their potential.

“I like seeing students when they perform and they know that they’re proud of their performance. I like to see their reaction. I like to see the pride in what they’ve been working on. That’s rewarding for me,” said Ocasio

Lake Ridge’s marching show featured a flute, clarinet, trumpet and snare drum solo. Ocasio said the solosists were put in that position because of their talent and confidence. Savon Northcutt, senior, was one of the four soloists. Northcutt is disappointed that he won’t get the opportunity to perform at state, but he enjoyed his solo and recognized his improvement over the season.

“I was super happy and wanted to make sure I added cool visuals and everything. I posted my solo on YouTube and in two days collected 5 thousand views. I feel like we performed to the best of our ability last weekend, and for us to be so close to making finals comes to show band had a strong performance. I have learned how to work with a group and obtained confidence in my drum talent, which showed my maturity as a snare drummer,” said Northcutt.

While the band isn’t advancing to the state level, the season isn’t over just yet. Lake Ridge will be traveling to Waco on Saturday, October 28 to compete at the BOA Regional Marching Contest. After the football game on November 2, the band will hang up their uniforms and switch to concert season. Students will begin preparing for the holiday concert, along with solo and ensembles and the All-State audition process.

About the Contributor
Megan Riddle
Megan Riddle, ENN Staff