All three Frenship Middle School competed at the Local UIL Concert and Sight-Reading Evaluation earlier this month. The UIL Evaluations consist of two main components, a stage concert and a sight-reading performance.
For the stage concert, each band comes prepared to perform difficult music at a high level for the judges. During the sight-reading portion the students are given a brand-new piece of music and are given a small amount of time to study it with the director. They are then asked to play the piece for a set of judges, who rate them on accuracy as well as musicality.
Considering the pressure of having to complete these components for two panels of judges, training the students for UIL success is a process that encompasses the entire year. This intense competition is overseen by six professional judges and is considered very prestigious in the band world.
When a band receives a rating of 1 onstage and a 1 in the sight-reading room that is referred to as a sweepstakes award. The highest score you can receive is 111,111 and this means that the band was rated outstanding by every judge.
Heritage Middle School took three bands to the Concert and Sight-Reading Evaluation for the first time, normally only sending two groups. They received Superior ratings in the Varsity and Non-Varsity groups as well as an Excellent rating in the Sub-Non-Varsity Group.
The Terra Vista Concert Band scored a 1 for their stage performance and 1 in the Sight-Reading evaluation. The Symphonic Band received a 1 for their stage performance and 1 in the Sight-Reading evaluation.
The Frenship Middle School Symphonic Band and Honors Band received division 1s from each judge at the contest, earning each band the coveted Sweepstakes award from the UIL. This year has now marked 24th consecutive year that the FMS Band has received the Sweepstakes award, a tradition that few programs in the state are able to claim.
“The band department here at FISD is very strong,” said Roel Sanchez, Director of Bands at Terra Vista Middle School. “We get a lot of support from the high school staff as well. Dr. Smith does a great job of utilizing the high school band staff in a way that helps the entire district. Our success is due in part to their help.”