SAN ANTONIO — The nerves were building in the tunnel leading out to the football field at San Antonio’s Alamodome. Tivy High School’s marching band was ready to take the field.
After months of preparation, the Antlers were performing on their biggest stage in 36 years. The payoff for Tivy was the reward of playing together against some of the best high school bands in the country.
For Tivy band director Roxanne Vickers, it was the performance of a lifetime.
“I feel great,” Vickers said. “This was the best one yet. I’m very proud of them.”
Competing against 35 bands on Monday, Tivy didn’t make the top 12 bands in order to advance to the state finals today, but it didn’t dampen the spirits of the band or its supporters.
“It was exhilarating,” said senior drum major Jake Irby in the moments after the band came off the field. “I loved every moment of it.”
For a Monday afternoon, there were plenty of Kerrville residents in the stands at the expansive Alamodome. Taking the day off from work was well worth it for many parents, who spend countless hours volunteering.
In the crowd was Tivy Principal Shelby Balser and Superintendent Mark Foust, who were both ecstatic about the performance.
“I was nervous for them, but I know how hard they’ve been working,” Balser said. “We know the time they’ve put in.”
It was the first appearance in the state championships since a preliminary appearance in 1983, according to the UIL’s website. Tivy appeared in the state finals in 1982, and finished third in the 4-A division.
Monday marked plenty of waiting around as the band prepped in the parking lot of the Alamodome before taking the field a little after 2 p.m. for an eight-minute performance. A small army of parents were at the ready to help push equipment and props into place.
Tivy’s show was focused on dance routines played to classical music, with a moment of whimsy when the band played kazoos.
“It’s very classically driven,” Vickers said of the selection of music. “That’s what I like. I love all of the different shows, but for me, I’m very traditional when it comes to classical music and being able to put those onto the field.”
While there will be no state championship, there’s no question that the band isn’t done yet — there’s still plenty of football halftime games ahead — but in the coming weeks the band will make a transition to a new show in 2020.
This is a building moment for a Tivy band that features plenty of underclass students to build around, including a cadre of members from Hal Peterson Middle School.
“I feel like we did our best today,” said senior drum major Jadyn Doss, adding she has her sights set on attending Baylor University. “The music was just so fun, and in the years prior, we had some pretty cool music, but I think this gave us the opportunity to put our hearts out.”
That they did, and they certainly made Kerrville proud on a Monday afternoon at the Alamodome.