The Van Alstyne Panther Band brought home enough hardware to need another trophy shelf following its participation last Saturday at the 10th Annual Aubrey Marching Classic at Aubrey High School. In the preliminary competition, Van Alstyne competed against 14 other 3A schools, placing first overall and receiving highest rankings in every judging category — marching, music, color guard, drum line, drum majors and general effect.

In the finals round, the bands with the top ten scores overall competed head-to-head regardless of their division rankings. Van Alstyne once again received high marks, winning the marching and drum major categories while placing third overall behind two very successful 4A band programs.

“The kids did a great job at the competition Saturday, especially as there were so many for whom this was their very first marching competition,” said Director Tim Fulton. “The other band directors and I are so proud of them and can’t wait to build on this success in subsequent competitions. We also want to say a big thank you to all the parents that came out to help and to support their students.”

The band’s next competition is the Don Hanna Marching Contest at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton on Saturday, Oct. 14, where they’ll perform in the preliminary round at 11:15 a.m. This is considered a pre-UIL performance, with the actual UIL competition taking place at Princeton High School on Wednesday evening, Oct. 18. Receiving all “superior” rankings at the UIL competition will determine if a band advances on to the regional contest.

This year is a “state” year for marching band, meaning that if the students advance past regional and area competitions, they will compete among the best 20 bands in Texas for top rankings. The State UIL competition is hosted every other year for 1A, 3A and 5A schools and alternate years for 2A, 4A and 6A schools. The Van Alstyne Band placed 9th in the State in the 2013-2014 school year and 7th in the State in the 2015-2016 school year, and so hopes to improve its rank even further this year.