By KRISTEN HILL, Contributor
On September 25, Vandegrift band and Vision Dance Company competed at Bands of America Austin Regional with 22 other high schools. VHS won the contest and was named BOA Regional champion 2021.
The last time the Vipers participated in a marching competition, they were named Grand National Champion at BOA in Indianapolis in November 2019. It has been a long wait to compete again since last year Leander ISD bands did not perform in contests because of the COVID pandemic.
“As I told the students, they have endured quite a bit of hardship in the past 18 months (as we all have). To see them push through the last eight weeks and be able to put on the performances we saw (at Bands of America) was inspirational,” said Mike Howard, director of bands at VHS.
The Viper band returned to contest season 2021 with nervous, yet prepared and energetic freshman and sophomore classes. These students had never participated in a marching band contest. Juniors and seniors, experienced in contests, stepped up to help lead and train younger band members.
As the students, directors, and Pit Vipers (parent volunteers) entered the field during the BOA contest on September 25, their confidence was boosted by a huge cheering crowd at Kelly Reeves Stadium.
The band’s preliminary performance of “Juliet Letters” won Outstanding Visual Performance and Outstanding General Effect caption awards, Class 4A Champion, and a spot in the finals competition.
Later that evening, the Vipers performed again in finals under the stadium lights and wowed the crowd. The crisp new uniform performance tops and shiny bright red Vision dance costumes were brilliant against white letters props and large metal red heart sculptures.
Vandegrift was named Bands of American Austin Regional Champion 2021 and took home the Outstanding Visual, Outstanding General Effect captions and tied with Claudia Taylor Johnson High School from San Antonio for the Outstanding Music Performance caption.
Leander ISD was well-represented in the finals as Cedar Park HS, Vista Ridge HS, Leander HS, and Rouse HS all placed in the top seven bands.
“The students showed quite a bit of resilience in the evening’s performance by delivering a great show (even better than prelims) after such a long day,” Howard said.
This is the fourth Bands of America regional championship title for the Viper Band program. Other regional titles are: 2019 Austin TX for “Aria Queen of the Night”, 2017 Conroe TX for “Symphony of Silence”, and 2016 Austin TX for “En Pointe”.
BOA finals results
84.250 – Vandegrift HS
84.000 – Claudia Taylor Johnson HS
81.800 – Rouse HS
80.950 – Cedar Park HS
80.625 – Vista Ridge HS
80.025 – Cedar Ridge HS
77.800 – Leander HS
77.250 – Westlake HS
76.800 – Round Rock HS
74.150 – James Bowie HS
73.550 – Westwood HS
72.400 – Weiss HS