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Re: Area every year
Here is what was proposed to UIL by Region 3 Band Division. My understanding is that the area contest would be held every year but advancement to state would be only for those classifications for that year. (3A, 5A in odd years; 2A, 4A, 6A in even years) The 1A format for advancement to state would continue as it is now. What I have been advocating for is to include the 1A schools in the area championships on the off years. I am not asking to have the area contest in the advancement years for 1A. The format currently in place works for 1A. We just want to be included in the off years for the area contests. "UIL consider holding the Area Marching Band Championships every year. State Marching Band Championships continue to be held in alternating years. For conferences on non-state years the Area Championships would be held on the Saturday immediately preceding the State Championships.
RATIONALE: This event would create an exciting annual platform for our marching band students and the UIL brand would do nothing but validate its significance. We believe it would resonate with our communities and provide an annual event for our campus and district leadership to anticipate. The contest would culminate with a full band retreat, announcement of placements, championship trophies or medals, etc. Many, if not most, bands are going to year-end contests already, why not give these bands the opportunity to compete through UIL?
This proposal is important because of the merit so many place in UIL-sanctioned events. Without an annual post-region level of competition we are concerned that UIL marching band events could become secondary in importance to other contests. The high standard of musical excellence in the state of Texas has been established through the guidance of the UIL Music. However, the most accessible and consistent performance outlet will guide the decisions made in the band halls throughout the state. Without an annual end-of-season evaluation that allows for more in-depth feedback and celebration of our studentsí efforts, non-UIL events will gain more influence in the decisions that directly affect our students. The more opportunities all students have to showcase the incredible depth, diversity, and level of performance here in Texas, the more support we will all enjoy. The UIL should be the platform for this showcase."
If 19 of 39 1A bands made a 1 this year and almost all of them are in the Western half of the state, how do you propose to have an area contest? 19 bands is about enough for one area contest and that's your state contest right now. Do you want two area contests of 9? How do you divide that up? If so that would likely cause only 3 from each area to go to state - making a state contest of 6 bands. Probably not the best experience for the kids and best use of time and resources. And, having two area contests would cause significant travel for some of these 1A bands - and for what? to have a tiny contest of 8-9 bands? This year there were 204 3A bands in the state that entered region. 22 of them are at state. Why should 1A get almost half their bands to state? I think you have things pretty good as they are right now.
I have brought this up every time it has been talked about at region meetings. If they are going to do area evey year, they need to include every classification including us in the 1A ranks. There were 39 bands that entered region marching contest this year with 19 of them qualifying for state. The argument about there not being enough to justify no longer holds validity.
The press release states that they approved Area every year for all conferences, but in the scheduled events I didnít see 1A area. Did I just miss it or is it not going to be for 1A after all?