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A Knight in sunlight

The Hanks Silver Knight Marching Band was labeled Grand Champion of El Paso's last marching band competition, Marchfest hosted at the Student Activities Complex (SAC) on Oct. 21.

“The Hanks band had one of the best performances ever on Saturday. All the passion and power gone into the performance was abundant,” said drum major, Sachell Valenzuela.

Marchfest is a marching band competition with mostly El Paso and New Mexico high school participants and are scored on individual and ensemble performance by judges for music, visual, and general effect.

Preliminary performances began with Class B marching band, Burges High School at eight in the morning and concluded with Parkland High School. Class A preliminary performances began with Coronado High School at 12 p.m. and concluded with Pebble Hills High School.

Class B bands advanced to finals:

1st Andress High School 

2nd Ysleta High School

3rd El Paso High School (tied)

3rd Riverside High School (tied)

Class A bands advanced to finals:

1st Hanks High School

2nd Bel Air High School

3rd Del Valle High School

4th Pebble Hills High School

5th Coronado High School

6th Oñate High School (tied)

6th Americas High School (tied)

8th Eastlake High School

“The level of the El Paso bands have really gone up the past few years,” said head band director Horacio Gomez. “All the bands worked hard. We all work the same amount of hours, we all endure the heat in the summer and the cold for the competitions. We all had an equal chance of winning.”

Final performances are an opportunity for the bands to play their hearts out a last time for the judges. In the end, the results were as followed:

Class B

Grand Champion El Paso High School

2nd Riverside High School

3rd Andress High School

4th Ysleta High School

Class A

Grand Champion Hanks High School

2nd Bel Air High School

3rd Coronado High School

4th Americas High School

5th Pebble Hills High School

6th Eastlake High School

7th Del Valle High School

8th Oñate High School

Although what marching band participants have come to know as Bandtober nears an end, marching bands participating in UIL Area on Oct. 28 at Odessa have their work cut out for them.

“Our next move is to continue to practice as if every practice was a performance. It’s time to hike up our skirts and get this motivation and determination going," said Valenzuela.

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