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North Lamar High School Band And Blue Diamonds Advance To State


The band continues stellar marching season with an eighth consecutive trip to the state

The North Lamar High School Marching Band continued their tradition of excellence this marching season by clinching an eighth trip to the State Marching Contest after numerous wins and excellent performances across Texas.

The band began their marching contest season on Oct 2 at Princeton’s Sounds of Fall Marching Contest. After the preliminary round of the contest, the NLHS Marching Band was ranked second in Class 4A behind Canton, winning awards for Best Music and Best Percussion.

North Lamar placed second overall out of 19 schools regardless of class for their preliminary round performance. After the prelims performance, the top-scoring bands performed again for the overall Grand Champion. NLHS earned second place overall.

On Oct 11, the Panther Band competed in the Mineola Marching Festival, winning Best Band, Drum Majors, and Percussion in Class 4A. The band was the highest-scoring band of the 24 at the contest regardless of class, winning the Grand Champion Trophy for their final performance.

To earn a qualification to the State Marching Contest in San Antonio, marching bands must advance through Regional and Area contests. The band traveled to Pine Tree on Oct 12 for the UIL Regional performance. The band must earn a first division, or superior rating, from two out of the three judges at this contest. Rankings are based not on the competition with other bands but a standard set by UIL. The bands that meet or exceed this standard advance to the area level. For the 31st consecutive year, the North Lamar Band received a superior rating, earning their spot at the UIL Area C Marching Contest.

On Oct 23, the band competed at Duncanville High School’s invitational marching contest. “This was the hardest marching competition that North Lamar Band has ever competed at in the school’s history,” said Randy Jones, Head Director of the NLHS Band. Competing against 16 of the best 6A schools in the Dallas area, the band won Outstanding Music, Percussion, Visuals, and Outstanding Band in Class 4A, placed 12th overall, and received an invite to march in finals as the Class 4A Champion.

Jason Smith, NL Marching Band Director, said, “The feedback we got from the judges and the opportunity for our students to see and be around those band programs was very motivating to our students.”

Twenty-five bands qualified for the area competition on Saturday, Oct 30, at Lindale High School; five of these bands would qualify for the State Marching Contest. North Lamar was ranked first by all five judges in the preliminary round. They advanced to the finals along with Lumberton High School, Bridge City High School, Splendora High School, Paris High School, Spring Hill High School, Little Cypress High School, Pleasant Grove High School, Liberty-Eylau High School, and Livingston High School. After the final round performance, the band was named UIL Area C 4A Champion, with first-place scores again from all five judges.

Smith said, “This was our best performance of the season so far, and seeing them celebrate with Paris High School, who finished second after they announced the awards, was maybe the coolest thing I have seen at an area contest.” Advancing to the State Marching Contest, Paris High School and North Lamar High School are Bridge City High School, Lumberton High School, and Spring Hill High School.

It marks the eighth consecutive trip to the UIL State Marching Contest for the North Lamar Band program. They placed ninth in 2008, second in 2010, fifth in 2012, second in 2014, first in 2016, third in 2018, and fourth in 2020. UIL State Marching Contest for Class 4A will be held in San Antonio at the Alamo Dome on Nov 10. North Lamar performs at 10:30 am, with finals to begin at 7:00 pm. You can find tickets, live-stream, and other information about the state marching contest at

Pictured with trophies won by the band this year are back row left to right Isla Taber, Aaron McCleskey, Joseph Daniel, Tony Delarosa, Michael Bright, Dylan Melvin, and Rachael Laughlin; middle row Brady Garrison, Joseph Franklin, Chelsey Padier, Richard Penny, Hilton Bounds, Madisyn Padier and Elonia Allmon; front row Bonnie Dong, Sydney Perry, Emily McMellon, Dakota Wharton, Emily Perez, Landree Rogers-Clay and Brylea Moody.