Marching Contests Begin Saturday

By Larry Gage

Special to the PRESS

PI-ISD Band Director Scott Hartsfield working in his office, preparing for the Port Isabel High Silver Tarpon Marching Band’s first marching contest of the season. Photo by Larry Gage.

The Port Isabel High Silver Tarpon Marching Band has been hard at work learning their new show for the 2019 marching season.  With five football half-time shows under their belts band members are ready to compete in their first marching contest of the year.  

In fact they will be in two different contests this first weekend of contest season.  Saturday morning the band is off to Mercedes for the Queen City Marching Festival. After their performance that afternoon everything will be packed into the band’s 18-wheeler hauler for the trip over to Pharr for the Tri-City Marching Festival.

The entire show was on the field last Friday night at halftime of the St. Joseph’s game at Tarpon Stadium, and Scott Hartsfield, Head Director of Bands for the Port Isabel school system was well satisfied with the band’s performance.  

“I usually don’t throw an entire show last minute, for a home crowd, but we got through it.  We survived … a little shaky in a couple of spots. And the crowd response was good. I couldn’t be happier.” 

The UIL contest Hartsfield referred to is the Pigskin Marching Contest, which will take place on October 19th at Mercedes.  In between that one and this week’s pair of competitions will the Crossroads Marching Festival at Robstown.  

“Twenty-five, thirty bands, all classes, will be on hand for that one,” Hartsfield told the Press.  “It’ll be our first time at Robstown.”

The Pigskin contest will be the final one of the season, as this is a non-state contest year for Port Isabel.    

The band’s final tune-up for Saturday’s contests will be the halftime show at the RGC-Grulla game at Rio Grande City this Friday.  

It’s a team effort and every show evolves as the season goes on, as Hartsfield explained. 

“It’s a work in progress.  We start with a vision at the very beginning and the vision doesn’t always turn out the way we want it to, but we just keep plugging away to find solutions.  Here and there, maybe the way things were staged, or it just doesn’t sound right, so we re-did some things on the fly. I tell the kids that no one does a marching show that’s exactly what they wanted from beginning to end.  It morphs into something else.” 

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