Band Performs Well at First Contests

By Larry Gage

Special to the PRESS

Contest season is on and the Port Isabel High Silver Tarpon Marching Band performed very well at the first contests of the year last Saturday.

That’s right, there were not one but two contests that first Saturday of the month.  The first one took place at Mercedes that afternoon, and the second one that night at Pharr.

“They came out best in class (4A) at Mercedes and they won Best Drums,” Head Director of Bands for the P.I.S.D, Scott Hartsfield said Monday.  “At the other contest (Pharr) we were close—Hidalgo came out first and we were second. Out of 20 bands at Mercedes we were 4th or 5th overall, and we beat out some 5A’s and 6A’s.”

First contest jitters, as well as some technical issues, were factors.

“First of all you can never trust electronics,” Hartsfield told the Press.  “The circuit breaker (at Mercedes) popped and we had no power. They finally got it back on and we were going to be disqualified, but they held the clock.  At the second contest we had some static on one of the microphones, the trombone microphone.” 

That would have been when senior trombone player, Jerry Sanchez, was doing his solo. 

“The microphone went out mid-performance,” Sanchez told the Press.  “At the first contest we had a problem with the power, so we used our own generator for our second performance to make sure that wouldn’t happen again.” 

“It was their first contest and the kids were a little spooked,” Hartsfield said. 

“The first contest of the year always gets people on the nervous side,” Sanchez said.  “So they start doubting themselves.”

By the band’s second performance of the day that night at Pharr, though, it was a different story.

“Even from one contest to the next that same day, you could feel the difference,” Sanchez said.  “The atmosphere around the whole band was just a lot better. Everybody felt a lot more confident and more comfortable.”

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