Clovis, Portales bands getting ready for competitions
Last updated 9/28/2021 at 5pm
After a year of sitting on the sidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Clovis and Portales bands are getting set for some lighthearted themes in their competitive band routines this month.
Both the Clovis High and Portales High bands are heading to Texas this week to open up an October generally known as band competition season.
“They’re extremely excited,” Clovis High Director Bill Allred said. “Last Friday was our first performance in two years. In years past … kids would be scared the first time. The kids were excited. I couldn’t find anybody who was nervous.”
Both bands are in action Saturday, with Clovis heading to the High Plains Marching Festival in Amarillo and Portales going to Denver City’s Tumbleweed Classic.
Portales will spend Tuesday co-hosting the Green and Silver Classic at Greyhound Stadium, with Clovis also performing. It will be the second of three shows in eight days for Clovis, which is heading to the Lubbock Westerner on Oct. 8. Portales will wrap up its season at the Oct. 12 district contest in Artesia, while Clovis will get set for two Albuquerque trips - the Oct. 16 Pageant of Bands and the Oct. 23 Zia Marching Band Fiesta.
Clovis has been named top band for the last eight runnings of Zia, which is generally regarded as band’s state championship.
The Clovis band is performing “Home Run,” a show that features three 30-by-30 tarps to serve as bases with the middle drum major podium serving as home plate. Allred said one of the “bases” unfolded takes up the majority of the band room.
“We wanted to do something that’s extra fun, extra exciting, not so serious,” Allred said.
The show will also feature the Wildcadettes for the first time in school history, with both the drill team and color guard dressed in baseball gear while band members wear their standard purple, black and white marching gear.
Portales Director Kelli Morrison also explained a fun theme for the band show.
“Our show concept,” Morrison said, “is ‘Under the Big Top’ featuring circus themed music, such as ‘Sabre Dance’ and ‘Send in the Clowns.’ It features tightrope walking, juggling, silly antics, and even a tuba solo by senior tubist Emma Mitchell.”
With COVID-19 still an issue statewide, several precautions are in place. Allred said the band performs with bell covers, requires masks on bus trips and plans to avoid the awards ceremonies that traditionally have all bands on the field at the same time.
“Some of the obstacles we face after a non-playing COVID year,” Morrison said, “include competing against West Texas bands that did not miss the season last year, navigating ever-changing restrictions placed on us by state mandates, and general struggles as students and teachers get back into the swing of in-person school.”