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Band takes grand champion title in contest

link Staff photo: Kevin Wilson

The Clovis High School marching band, shown performing during the Sept. 26 homecoming game, took top band honors Saturday at the High Plains Marching Contest in Amarillo.

Staff report

The Clovis High School Wildcat marching band walked away with the grand champion title and numerous awards from the High Plains Marching Contest in Amarillo on Saturday.

The band, under the direction of Bill Allred, was the top band in preliminary competition, and also won the finals and grand champion designation for its “Tree of Life” showing.

“I’m just happy the kids got better in finals,” Allred said. “Their preliminary performance was good. Their final performance was three notches above.”

The band also took event awards for outstanding percussion, outstanding color guard and outstanding drum majors.

The band will perform each of the next three weeks on the road, but will perform the show twice in a free event at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Leon Williams Stadium.

The “Tree of Life” show is not affiliated with the 2011 film of the same title or any other story, Allred said. The story of a tree’s life, with a color guard wearing colors that symbolize tree leaves, is meant to be both simple and unusual at the same time. In band competitions, Allred said, performing well on something completely original tends to score better than a perfect performance of a show full of standard band pieces.

“Those guys (judges) have seen hundreds and thousands of bands,” Allred said. “They want to see something different. So you have to do that, and execute well.”

Clovis was the only New Mexico school that participated in the event, which also included Amarillo, Canyon, Randall, Caprock, Bushland, Plainview and Hereford from Texas.

The show is a successful kickstart to the season, which includes three more events throughout the competition season this month — Saturday for the Lubbock Westerner, Oct. 18 for the Zia Marching Band Fiesta in Albuquerque and Oct. 25 for the Tournament of Bands in Las Cruces.

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