On April 20th, Concordia’s Symphonic Band and Handbell Choir members traveled to Temple, TX to compete in the TAPPS 6A State Instrumental Music Championships. The students did an outstanding job representing Concordia as they successfully defended their 2022 State Title and became the 2023 TAPPS 6A Instrumental Music State Champions!
At the state competition, which featured large ensembles, the Crusaders featured five performance groups and all of them earned “1 Superior” ratings. These groups included our Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, The Sader 7 Jazz Combo, Handbell Choir, and a Handbell solo by Hailey Straub ’23. The judges unanimously agreed that all of these entries deserved the highest rating based on their challenging level of music in addition to how well the music was performed.
Concordia’s quest for the 2022-2023 State Title began in Fall 2022 with 85 points from 2nd place finishes in Fall’s Field Band and Drumline contests. In March, TAPPS hosted the Solo/Small Ensemble competition at regional locations with an additional 194 points being tallied toward the Crusader’s final year total. These two categories as well as the Large Ensemble performances in Temple (310 points) were combined to crown the top school.
Concordia earned a comfortable 1st place finish over state runner-up Antonian College Prep (San Antonio, TX) with a total score of 589 points compared to Antonian’s 334 and Central Catholic’s (San Antonio, TX) 228. Incredibly, the 310 points earned by Concordia in the Large Ensemble portion of year-long competition, was the highest point total for any school across TAPPS’ six divisions for Large Ensembles and was almost enough to earn 1st place in 6A without either of the first two portions.
According to Mr. Held, CLHS Director of Fine Arts and Director of Instrumental Music, he shared these thoughts: “More than the state championships, I am proud of our students earning the “Sweepstakes” award in symphonic band. Sweepstakes means you earn a 1 rating in your concert pieces and a 1 rating in sight-reading. This is a reflection on a great group of students who not only perform well, but also can play a never before seen band piece at a high musical level. To earn sweepstakes you need to be an exemplary band.”
The students and directors showed incredible resiliency as they had an eventful trip to State that included driving through a major storm Thursday night and a power outage from 11 pm to 3 am at the hotel that night. This could have been a reason to deter focus from the group, but they all performed exceptionally well on Friday following their limited sleep.
Over the course of the year, all of the large ensembles have performed in various concert settings this year with the exception of the Sader 7 Jazz Combo. This group is an auditioned group that takes short sketches of music, creates an outlined form, and improvises a piece together. It is jazz at its purest form – collective improvisation. The 7 students in this group include:
Cooper Blaha ‘23, Kyle Chang ‘23, Sarah Chang ‘25, Jack Gobrogge ‘25, Nate Held ‘25, Ephraim Iwama ‘23, and Everett Kiel ’23.
You can hear the Sader 7 Jazz Combo as well as all of our groups performing at our final concert of the year, the Pops Concert, with the choir on Saturday, May 13th at 6 pm at Concordia.
Soli Deo Gloria! (To God Alone Be The Glory)