Yellowhammer Band just short of state finals

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Yellowhammer Band just short of state finals

Drum Major, Felisia Carrillo, gets the Rotan Yellowhammer Band warmed up before competition on Tuesday.

The Rotan Yellowhammer Marching Band returned from its third consecutive trip to the UIL State Marching Championships at San Antonio’s Alamodome this week, where the band was edged out of the state finals competition by a single place.

State marching band competitions are held on alternating years in Texas, and this year’s ending was as bittersweet for the Yellowhammer Marching Band as it was in 2017, when the group missed making the finals by a single point. After 2A redistricting earlier this year, the band faced not only the strong contenders from the 2017 year but new ones—like Irion County that would go on to win the championship—that dropped in classification.

Director Jessica Watkins said after graduation in May there was some doubteven within the program—as to whether or not the band could pull off a return trip with a much smaller eighth-grade class than in recent years and a majority of the band being underclassmen. “It always feels good to prove people wrong,” said Watkins.

Out of a total of 19 bands competing in this year’s state marching band championships, the Rotan Band finished in eighth place. Unfortunately for the young musicians, only the top seven bands return for the afternoon finals competition. Although the band fell... just short of making the final show, Watkins said she is incredibly proud of her young musicians.

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