'Horns up!'

Hill Country Marching Fest drawing bands here

By Lisa Treiber-Walter— Going “toe-to-toe” and “note-to-note” against each other will be some 17 high school marching bands here this Saturday, Oct. 5, during the annual Hill Country Marching Festival.

Music fans are invited to visit the Fredericksburg High School (FHS) Stadium to watch the Class 1A to Class 4A bands march their contest shows in a halftime-like performance that runs throughout the afternoon.

Judging this year’s contest-level performances, starting at 2 p.m. and continuing every 15 minutes, will be a panel of music experts from out of town, among them: Tony Gibbs, a retired music director from Hays High School in Buda; Charles Aguillon, director of fine arts for Lake Travis Independent School District; Rey Meza, a retired director from Marshall High School in San Antonio; Stephen Howard, assistant director of bands/color guard director at Bowie High School in Austin, and, Ron Schermerhorn, director of percussion studies at South Texas College in McAllen.

FHS Marching Band

Because it is serving as host, the “Pride of the Hill Country” — the FHS Marching Band — will appear in exhibition only to close Saturday’s contest tentatively around 6:45 p.m.

The band will entertain with its University Interscholastic League (UIL) contest show titled “Perpetual Rhythms” by John Meehan, under the leadership of FHS Drum Majors Peighton Schmidt and Hunter Burtwell.

Directing the band are John Rauschuber, James Buxton, Brad Bryant, Dani Rauschuber, Jason Younts and Brandi Wooten. Serving as the percussion tech is Joey Gonzales.

Last year, the FHS Marching Band missed winning the UIL State Marching Contest title by one point to earn second place.

In UIL, different classifications alternate years for their ability to advance with contest wins. Since Class 3A and Class 5A bands were eligible to advance to state last year, this year’s Class 3A student musicians will advance no farther than the Region XI Marching Contest planned Saturday, Oct. 19, in Hondo.

Harper HS Marching Band

Also from Gillespie County, the Harper High School Marching Band will perform its contest show in the Class A division. (This is a contest advancement year for Class A, Class 2A and Class 4A bands.)

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