Band medals twice at season-ending competitions Nov. 5-8


Photo by Avery Dyer

Band students hold hands on the field of the Alamodome as they await the results of the UIL 6A State Marching Band Championships. The band won second place and brought silver medals home to Hebron.

The band recently returned from its annual trip to San Antonio for the Bands of America (BOA) Super Regional Contest on Nov. 5 and the UIL 6A State Marching Band Championships on Nov. 7 and 8, where they were named the BOA Super Regional Champions for the second time in a row and silver medalists in the UIL State competition for the sixth time in school history.

“If we’d finished [with another placement], we still would’ve had the same season,” director of bands Andy Sealy said. “[The work] is always worth it, it’s just a question of how you squeeze all of that worth out [and] what you learn from [the season].”

The band remained undefeated until the finals round of the UIL competition on Nov. 8. Student teacher Cameron Wolfe, a student at Texas Tech University who has been with the band since the beginning of the season, said that this was one of the most challenging shows he’d ever seen.

“[Coming into the position at Hebron], I had big expectations for the way that things were structured and the thoroughness of the instruction,” Wolfe said. “I’ve definitely seen a lot of students grow into the shoes that were left behind by [former members of the program].”

The band’s 2022 show, Odyssey FM, featured a variety of source music from composers ranging from Antonio Vivaldi to The Weeknd. Sealy said Hebron is well-known for performing difficult music in a precise manner.

“Particular challenges this year were how complex the show was rhythmically and how late music was arriving to us relative to when we needed it,” Sealy said. “You can’t write drill, [the visual formations in the show], until you’ve got music.”

A typical marching season at Hebron ends in early November; however, that hasn’t been the case for the last three years. In 2019, the band’s trip to Indianapolis to compete at Grand Nationals extended the season about two weeks, in 2020, the season ended in December because of COVID-19 restrictions and in 2021, the season ended at the beginning of January because of the band’s trip to Pasadena to march in the Tournament of Roses Parade. This year, Sealy said that the band was about a week behind schedule up until the last two weeks of the season, which made it feel even shorter than normal.

“It definitely did feel weird for [the season] to be super short this year, especially because it was my last season,” senior band officer and tuba section leader Zavier Vega-Yu said. “It’s kind of sad that it was really short, but I’m definitely excited for [the TMEA convention].”

During the marching season, the Wind Symphony started having morning rehearsals for the woodwinds, high brass and low brass sections to start rehearsing music for their upcoming performance at the Texas Music Educators Association (TMEA) conference in early January. The conference is held annually in San Antonio, and the band had to record and go through multiple judging processes to win the opportunity to perform as the 2023 TMEA 6A Honor Band. Hebron won the 5A title in 2011 as well.

“I experienced [performing at TMEA with an Honor Band] in middle school,” Vega-Yu said. “The process of working and rehearsing will be challenging, but I think it’ll be really worth it when we’re on stage.”

With how busy the marching season kept many people, Sealy said that the sectionals were not as effective as he’d hoped they would be. Now that the season is over, the group has started rehearsing together in class on top of having morning sectionals in an effort to pick up the pace.

“[The concert] is an incredibly high profile, high pressure event because of the audience’s expectation that they’re about to hear a spectacular concert delivered by well-trained musicians,” Sealy said. “I hope we can meet those expectations because the pressure is enormous.”