Vandegrift band & Vision Dance performs “Rise”

Photos by Viper band volunteers at Festival of Bands.

Festival of Bands, Bands of America

The Vandegrift marching band and Vision Dance Co. — with its record 360 students — has been busy performing “Rise” at Bands of America, Festival of Bands and football games during halftime.

“The (‘Rise’) production works to musically and visually symbolize moving from a point of struggle to triumph,” said Mike Howard, VHS director of bands.

This is done visually through the heroine Artemis, the use of the bow and the gradual change of color from dark to light.

“Musically, we move from dissonant and loud, to haunting and beautiful and eventually to fast, aggressive and triumphant,” Howard explained.

The music in “Rise” includes “Belkis, Queen of Sheba” by Respighi, “The Prayer of Our Lord” from “King of Kings” by Rozsa, “Concerto for Orchestra” by Bartok.

At the Bands of America Austin Regional Championship on Sept. 30, Vandegrift came home with “Best General Effect” and 2nd place in prelims and 3rd place in the championship finals. The Vipers performed in the Bands of America Regional event in Houston on Oct. 6.   

“I was very pleased with the students’ performances and am very excited about this season,” Howard said.

Leander ISD’s annual Festival of Bands took place on Oct. 1 at Gupton Stadium. The event featured all LISD high school marching bands and auxiliaries in exhibition marching performances. It also featured an amazing combined finale performance of “Land of 1,000 Dances” featuring all of Leander ISD’s band programs – its eight middle schools and six high schools.  

In addition to Howard, the VHS band staff includes Katie Van Doren, Dustin Tharp, Joe Hobbs and Samia Mooney. Canyon Ridge Middle School band staff includes Amy Allison, Amanda Klingenberg and Jeffery Salinas, and the Four Points Middle School band staff includes Jessica Gonzales, Cori Reebenacker, Adrian Teti and Hobbs.

Kristen Hill contributed to this article.