AZLE — Making it past the UIL Area Marching Band Contest has eluded Azle for several years.
Bands that perform the best in the area meet qualify for something bigger.
“It determines whether we go to state or not,” said Sarah Dustin, a junior who plays mellophone in the Marching Green Pride.
The band will compete at the area contest on Saturday, Oct. 28, in Lubbock.
“I feel good,” Dustin said. “I think we're going to do it.”
Playing mellophone alongside Dustin was Josh Carver, a senior who joined band in sixth grade.
“I feel like we have a good chance to go to state this year,” he said. “It's my senior year, and I would like to see us go to state.”
Next year, Carver plans to attend college, march in the college band, and study music education. Azle’s program under Aaron Martin, Greg Davis, Caleb Hunter, and Michael Strange have inspired him and others to continue in the field.
“The people are great,” Carver said. “The directors are really nice, and they're really good at what they do. They are really important to our success.”
Carver creates much of his own success. In addition to band, he hits the books and is ranked no. 10 in his class of more than 400 students.
“I have a lot of class work to do,” he said. “It can be overwhelming with band, but I get it done.”
Liz Nungesser, a junior who plays vibraphone, is relatively new to the band scene.
“I joined the band last year, and I’ve had a good experience at competitions,” she said. “We went to San Antonio last year. I have high hopes for this year. This is a very successful show full of people that have grown so much with their instruments.”