Mighty Cardinal Band wins second place at UIL state marching contest


Jan 2021
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In a historic win for the Melissa ISD band program, the Mighty Cardinal Band won second place overall at the 2020 UIL 4A State Marching Band Contest last month. This is the highest placement at a state competition that the Melissa High School band has received, surpassing their sixth place win and first-ever advancement to the finals in 2018.

2020 Band State Trophy

The second place trophy and medal for the 2020 UIL 4A State Marching Band Contest awarded to the Mighty Cardinal Band on December 14, 2020.

Melissa High School was one of 20 schools that advanced to the final round of the state contest. According to the judges, Melissa outperformed 18 schools and earned the runner-up trophy.

The band’s 2020 competition show was titled “RETRO VISION” and has been described as big, imaginative, and futuristic with 80s themes, led by drum majors Brianne Finnell, Devynna Vela, and Autumn Bell.

The Mighty Cardinal Band program is under the leadership of Jerry Whorton, Director of Bands at Melissa Schools, along with Jordan Hayes, Associate Director of Bands; David Landry, Assistant Band Director; Eric Boyett, Director of Percussion Studies; Taylor Tucker, Colorguard Director; Stone McCauley, Marching Technician; Shanna Mann, Percussion Technician; and Winni Shi, Colorguard Technician.

(L-R) Autumn Bell, Jerry Whorton, Brianne Finnell, and Devynna Vela.

Mr. Whorton shared, “To say we are blessed with the results from the state contest is an understatement. We knew our performance was the best of the year for our students, but had no idea that the result would ultimately come out as a second-place finish. The goal for the season was to seek small steps of improvement daily while keeping our students safe. The culmination of events that took place this season was the product of students, directors, and parents coming together as one: Team Melissa. The philosophy of the program never changed, which was to teach life through music. This fall, with the support of our administration, our students had the opportunity to “learn life” while making memories that would become everlasting.”

“We had previously instructed students to live in the moment and to take in every emotion,” Whorton continued, recalling his favorite moment from state. “The joy I had after the show, watching the students stand still with pride for over 15 seconds, with tears running down their cheeks – I knew that the job had been done. Win or lose, the outcome was a success. I am incredibly proud of our students and I’m proud to be a Melissa Cardinal.”

Production clinicians for “RETRO VISION” included Rob Toups, Chris Brannan, Jeremy Strickland, Melinda and George Strickland, Michael Cabrera, Justin Madrid, Jon Weddle, and Angie Liss. Partnerships for the 2020 marching contest season included Marching 365, Fannin Musical Productions, Flash Visual Media, Dance Sophisticates, Demoulin Uniforms, and Overland Charters.

See Also: Mighty Cardinal Band prepares to enter contest season with “RETRO VISION”

Media Contact:
Maddie Coe, Director of Communications

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