The Van Alstyne Panther Band came away from its first marching band competition for the year with several top honors. The band traveled to Aubrey High School earlier this month for the 12th Annual Aubrey Marching Classic. In the preliminary competition, Van Alstyne competed against 18 other 3A schools, placing first overall and receiving the highest rankings in marching, music and percussion.

Van Alstyne’s first place in the preliminary round earned the band the opportunity to advance to the finals competition, where the overall top 10 scoring bands from all participating divisions competed head-to-head. Van Alstyne once again received high marks in the finals, beating out 4A and 5A bands to place second overall behind 4A Melissa High School.

“Recognition like this early in our marching season provides our students motivation in realizing their full potential to deliver their best performances, both as individual musicians and collectively as a band,” Director Tim Fulton said. “The other band directors and I are excited to tap into the momentum this provides to help our students continue to make this year’s show better and better.”

The band’s next competition is the UIL competition taking place at McKinney ISD Stadium on Saturday, Oct. 19. The Van Alstyne band is scheduled to perform that day at 4:15 p.m. Receiving all “superior” rankings at the UIL competition will determine whether a band advances on to the regional contest.

In anticipation of the possibility of advancing past district, the Panther band is planning a community performance at VA Stadium on Friday, Oct. 25 at 8:30 p.m. The Van Alstyne High School football team has a bye-week and will not be playing that Friday night.

This year is a “State” year for 3A marching bands, 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. In previous years, the Van Alstyne Band advanced to place top 10 in the state for 3A schools during the 2013-2014 and 2015-2016 school years.

“We can’t wait to share with the community on Oct. 25 the final product of the countless hours these students have spent on this show,” Fulton said. “It will be a full circle moment for those who came to watch our sneak peek community performance back in August to see firsthand the results of our students’ hard work over the past few months.”