Nacogdoches High band earns 30th sweepstakes in 33 years


NACOGDOCHES, TX - For the past 30 years, nothing at Nacogdoches Independent School District has trumpeted the winning tradition louder than the Nacogdoches High School band program.

On Friday, for the 30th time since 1980, Nacogdoches Golden Dragon Band earned the UIL Sweepstakes Award. They received the rating after the NHS Symphonic Band earned Division I ratings across the board at the Region XXI University Interscholastic League Concert and Sight Reading contests on Friday.  Those scores, then were compiled with the Fall UIL Marching Division I ratings, to determine the sweepstakes status.

One UIL judge at the Friday event deemed the Nacogdoches Symphonic Band a "credit to [the] school, [the] city, and to music education in the state of Texas."

The Nacogdoches Golden Dragon Band is accustomed to winning.  In the past 33 years, they've only missed receiving the sweepstakes honors three times.

"Not many other organizations in NISD have maintained a tradition of excellence for their school and community for so long," said NHS band director Glynn Wells.

The tradition of excellence is one in which Wells takes great pride.

"It's a lot of work, year in and year out, because of the expectations," he said. "Sometimes it's harder to maintain a program than to build one, because it's easy to get apathetic."

The tradition also runs in the bloodlines of some band members.  Many have had brothers and/or sisters come through the program, while for others, it goes even further.  Nick Precella and Amber Akin, current members of the program, are second-generation Nacogdoches band members.

According to Wells, the prominence of the Nacogdoches band program goes beyond the 30-plus years of excellence.

The Nacogdoches community has shown a great amount of pride and support of its band program over the years.

The NHS band has represented the district and community with a memorable appearance at the prestigious Tournament of Roses Parade in 2008 as well as patriotic performances at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii in 2012.