Marching to victory: High school bands compete for state titles


LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) – Call it the battle of the bands.

High school bands will be stepping off Wednesday in Longview in the University Interscholastic League Military State Marching Band Championship.

The competition, being held for the first time, will feature 1A/2A and 4A schools.

“The League has a long and exciting history of educational and athletic excellence through competition and now these participants are adding to that tradition,” UIL Executive Director Charles Breithaupt said. “Of the millions of Texas students, these participants have risen to the top through hard work and perserverence.”

The bands will march in the football field at Pine Tree High School. Set to take the field are:


  • Shelbyville: 11 a.m.
  • Union Grove: 11:17 a.m.
  • Carlisle: 11:34 a.m.
  • Timpson: 11:51 a.m.
  • Beckville 12:08 p.m


  • Van: 2 p.m.
  • Center: 2:17 p.m.
  • Henderson: 2:34 p.m.
  • Carthage: 2:51 p.m.
  • Lindale: 3:08 p.m.
  • Vidor: 3:25 p.m.
  • Gilmer: 3:59 p.m.
  • Hardin-Jefferson: 4:16 p.m.
  • Bullard: 4:33 p.m.
  • Brownsboro: 4:50 p.m.
  • Spring Hill: 5:07 p.m.

The bands that are competing all received the top rating at a region contest.

The UIL says the bands must play music that consists primarily of military marches and march in a style of a “traditional military marching band.”

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“For Lindale to win the 1st one would be quite an accomplishment and very satisfying,” he said.

Van ISD Director of Bands Rusty Lay said the band program is excited that UIL is letting military-style marching bands have their own competition.

He called getting to the state contest a great honor, and the Van band students and directors are working hard to be the best.

“We just strive to be the best we can,” Lay said. “Wherever we finish, we’re excited to be a part of it absolutely.”

Lay said practicing during the COVID-19 pandemic has presented challenges, such as having a delayed start. The Van ISD band started individual practices in August that later progressed into bigger groups.

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