Congratulations are in order for Texas City High School’s Marching Stingarees band, the 102 members of which have been invited to play during the halftime show of the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29 in San Antonio.
“It means a lot,” senior drum major Noah Martinez told The Daily News last week.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, especially since it’s my last year in band.”
The band will be in San Antonio at different festivities from Dec. 26-30 playing events, including several marching and parade competitions, a Riverwalk Pep Rally and the halftime show, Band Director Matthew Raines said.
About 500 students from different bands across the country — including high schools in Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, New Jersey and Oklahoma — will be a part of the combined halftime performance alongside the Texas City High School band.
Schools were selected via a rigorous process, which began early in the year.
“You submit a video of a performance, describe your teaching philosophy, describe your program history and awards you’ve won and send a picture of the band in its uniforms,” Raines said. “Then the committee decides.”
This is the first time the band has been selected to participate in a bowl game since it performed at a Fiesta Bowl parade in 2005.
Financial considerations led to the Marching Stingarees band to accept the Alamo Bowl invitations.
“The boosters are helping with the band fees,” Raines said. “They will contribute $10,500 total. And the school district will supply our transportation and meals. The cost for each student is now reduced from $885 to $545. It helps tremendously.”
To help make up the rest of the cost, the band has been doing a number of fundraisers, including a marchathon, a cruise raffle and a snap-raise — which Raines called similar to a GoFundMe.
The benefits of such trips are twofold, Raines said. For the current students, it serves as a life experience on what playing in the band can do for a career.
“We are also trying to get the band name out there,” Raines said. “With the companies that contact you, you are trying to get them to notice you based upon your achievements. Something like this can open the door for more opportunities.”
A major goal for the band is to play in the Macy’s Day Parade, he said.
We wish the band good luck in San Antonio and with its pursuit of a spot in the Macy’s Day Parade.
Michael A. Smith