All things lead to State… at least every other year it does. Every two years, Clear Lake competes for a chance to go to the State Marching Competition at the Alamodome in San Antonio. The following information provides some background on the competition and information on how the competitions work.
UIL added the State Marching Contest to its yearly contests in 1984. At first it was held every year. In 1991, the decision was made to hold the contest in alternative years. The UIL classifications of 1A through 6A determine who we compete against in athletics and in UIL music competitions. Clear Lake and all of the CCISD high schools are in the largest class - 6A. The State Marching Contest alternates the classifications yearly, with 4A and 6A one year and 1A, 2A, 3A, and 5A the following year.
Region Marching Band Contest
The path to the State Marching Contest begins at the Region Marching Contest. At Region, the band is rated by a three judge panel on both the musical and marching performances. Each judge rates the bands in the manner typical of UIL music contests: 1 means "Superior," 2 means "Excellent," etc. all the way through 5. There are no preliminaries or finals, just a single performance by each band. The scores are provided to the directors and are not announced in the stadium. Therefore, the band leaves immediately after the directors receive the scores. All bands that receive a Superior rating will be eligible to compete at the Area competition.
Area Marching Band Contest
The following week is the Area Marching Contest. This contest has a preliminary and final round and uses a ranking system for the scoring. There are five judges: three for music and two for marching. Each judge writes down comments and uses a number based system to record their impression of each band. At the end of the contest, each of the five judges ranks the bands from top to bottom, with the top band getting 1 point and the bottom band getting a score equal to the number of bands competing. They then add those numbers up, and the lowest total is first place, the second lowest is second, and so on. At the end of the preliminary round, the schools advancing to the finals later that evening will be announced. In our Area, the top 10 bands advance.
During the finals, the bands are scored using the same system used during the prelims. The number of bands that will advance to the State Marching Contest is based on how many bands competed in the prelims. Divide the total number of bands by five (BUT DON'T ROUND UP), and you have the number of bands that will advance. So, if there are 32 bands at Area, the top six from the Area finals will advance to State. It's for this reason that we always want to see as many Superior ratings at the Region contest as possible - more 1's at Region means more bands advance from Area to State.
State Marching Band Contest
The State Marching Contest is held in San Antonio about two weeks after the Area contest. State uses the prelims/final format similar to Area. It is a tremendous honor to be able to compete at the State Marching Contest. The crowds are very large and very loud.