North Lamar advances to area

The North Lamar Marching Band earns superior ratings at the UIL Regional Marching Contest in Sulphur Springs on Tuesday with their show “Caged.” They will go on to compete at area in the UIL State Marching Band process in December.

The North Lamar Marching Band found favor with all three judges at the UIL Regional Marching Band Contest in Sulphur Springs on Tuesday to earn straight superiors in the UIL State Marching Band process. They will go on to compete at area Dec. 5 in Lindale.

Their show “Caged!” explores different emotions of animals being caged. Music selection includes “Animals” by Maroon 5, “Wine-Dark Seas” by John Mackey, “Letting Go” by James Dooley and “Miraculous Mandarin” by Bela Bartok.

In Texas, due to travel and expense, Class 2A, 4A and 6A compete in the UIL State Marching Band process in even number years while 1A, 3A and 5A compete in odd number years. Bands earning ratings of 1 (superior) at one of the 30 plus regional marching contests advance to one of five area contests. Only two to five of these outstanding bands advance from area to state. North Lamar has over 30 years of superior ratings at the Regional UIL Marching Contest and has advanced to area every state year since 2008.

“It is an honor to be with these students every day,” Band Director Randy Jones said. “To see their dedication and determination makes us want to provide the best experience for them we can.”

Preparing for a state year is busy and exciting. This year in particular has had its challenges with Covid cases and quarantines that have only made the North Lamar band stronger.

On Nov. 7, the band competed in Princeton at the Sounds of Fall Invitational Marching Contest. Normally, this contest holds a preliminary run of all the bands during the day followed by selecting the top 10 to perform again in the evening. With Covid-19 and trying to limit how many people are in an area, only one performance took place. The North Lamar High School Marching Band placed first in the music performance category, second in the marching category, fourth in percussion and second in color guard. They were awarded second place in Class 4A and third place overall following Mineola High School, who placed first and was directed by former North Lamar graduate Chris Brannon, and second place went to Canton High School.

North Lamar competed Nov. 14 at the Celina Invitational Marching Contest. Again, only one performance took place due to the pandemic. The North Lamar Panther Band had a stellar performance placing first in the music category, second in marching, third in percussion and sixth in color guard. North Lamar was awarded first place in Class 4A for the contest and Grand Champion of the entire contest.

“Through all of the challenges this year, our students have worked very hard and we could not be more proud of their efforts,” Jones said.

The band is under the direction of Jones, Marcus Lutz, Gary Monroe and Jeremy Troche.

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