China Spring Marching Band once again one of the very best in Texas
Central Texas band once again a finalist in 4A UIL competition
WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A local marching band with a storied past has once again been named one of the best of the best in the state of Texas.
The China Spring Marching Band finished 6th, tying its own school record from 2016, at the 4A UIL State Marching Band Competition at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Wednesday.
“We are just overjoyed with their performance this year,” said China Spring ISD Director of Bands Marc Nichelson.
The band has been to the 4A state marching contest 12 times. It has been a finalist, meaning they finished in the top 10 in preliminaries, six of the 10 times.
Its highest-ranking ranking was sixth place in 2021 and in 2016.
Achieving a top 10 finish took a lot of work and long hours of practice for the band, which consists of 157 students from 9th to 12 grades.
The band started rehearsing on August 1st with the goal of rehearsing the visual package of the show. It never slowed down.
Band members practiced every school day during their class period and then three hours a week outside of school to make sure their performance was perfected.
Nichelson said it’s all worth it when they’re in the tunnel about to enter the Alamodome field for the big show.
“It really is the practice of the long game to have hundreds of days of time expire from when you start preparation for those things with leadership camps and to going all the way through the season performing on Friday nights and to see it there,” he said.
“It’s this wonderful marriage of an educational component and a beautiful emotional moment for those students.”
“To have them execute the show at such a high level, it’s just an amazingly rewarding experience as a teacher and as a performer and it’s hard to describe just exactly what you feel in that moment.”
Nichelson said the boosters and the school rolled out the red carpet for the hard-working band, taking them to the competition in charter buses, putting them up in a nice hotel with great meals and allowing them to stay Thursday for a free day of fun and go-carts.
But they didn’t have much time to soak in the performance before they hit the ground running again.
The band returned Thursday evening for a 6 p.m. pep rally at the high school stadium to celebrate not only the performance, but the football and volleyball team’s successes.
The marching band departed Central Texas at 4 p.m. Friday for Bryan to perform in the 4A Division II bi-district round of the football playoffs as the Cougars take on Madisonville.
“We are just super proud of them,” Nichelson said of his band members. “Everyone is cheering them on.”
Lake Belton High School was the only other 4A top 10 finisher, placing 7th.
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