The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

CHS band 8th in national contest

’Cats second in crowd-favorite voting


October 31, 2018

CLOVIS — There were many “wow” moments at the Bands of America Super Regional in St. Louis over the weekend. But Clovis High Band Director Bill Allred said two stood out.

One was when the band arrived, to find they were among 74 elite bands competing for supremacy at The Dome at America’s Center.

The first one was when Clovis left home.

“Witnessing the parade for the kids Thursday,” Allred said, “I was thinking, ‘Boy, we’d better make finals.’”

The finals they did make, as the colorfully dressed color guard and musicians beat out 60 other bands to make the final round of 14.

When results were compiled, Clovis scored 83.85 points to finish eighth overall in a competition of bands from 14 states.

The Wildcat band also claimed outstanding musical effort for Class AAA.

If Clovis — winner of seven straight Zia Marching Band Fiesta competition for best New Mexico prep band — felt like a big fish in a small pond before, Allred said St. Louis felt like “stepping into the ocean” against bands with national reputations.

“I stopped and asked the kids, ‘Are you afraid? Be honest,’” Allred said. “I think every kid raised their hand. I said, ‘You know what? That’s OK.’ I was afraid too.”

To the kids’ credit, Allred said, they went out and delivered outstanding performances in the preliminary competition and the finals, and left the competition knowing they were beaten by better bands with experience on a national stage.

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, won the competition with 92.35 points, but on the way to the finals Clovis did beat out many former super regional and national champions.

“My understanding was that Clovis was the talk of the judging crew,” Allred said.

A vote was also held for the crowd favorite. Clovis took second place, garnering about 25,000 online votes.

Allred isn’t sure if Clovis could make this type of trip annually, given the logistical and financial commitments, but he also thought St. Louis was a great first step Clovis can take toward establishing a national reputation.

“We have some great kids in Clovis,” Allred said. “They saw the best bands, and they saw they can be better.”


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