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At The Top
After a third-place finish at the same venue a year ago, John B. Alexander H.S. took home top marks at the season’s first Bands of America event in Texas, earning first out of 26 bands at Saturday’s McAllen regional.
Thanks to a significant edge in general effect, John B. Alexander’s final score of 77.100 was exactly one point above both the show’s silver and bronze medalists — Roma and Winston Churchill—who finished tied up.
A noticeable margin separated the top three from those closest behind, as Pioneer (4th, 73.800) followed a strong advantage in Music Performance to hold off McNeil (5th, 72.950).
Aside from the tie among the top three, Birdville (6th, 72.100) and Sharyland (7th, 72.000) had the closest finish of the finals portion; while Sharyland earned a sizable lead in general effect, Birdville’s strong advantage in music performance made up most of the difference.
Birdville was the big mover in Finals, moving up all the way from ninth in Prelims. In fact, in Prelims, just over a point had separated Birdville from the first band to miss out on the Top 10.
Del Rio (8th, 71.050) was the eighth and final and to crack 70 points at Saturday’s show, while Mission (9th, 69.800) and United (10th, 69.500) rounded out the pool of finalists. A penalty of 0.4, however, moved United behind Mission after a sixth-place finish in Prelims.
Finals Cut Off
Of Saturday’s finalists, four—John B. Alexander, Pioneer, Sharyland and United—were also finalists at the same event in 2018.
The Finals cut-off—which was set at Mission’s Prelims score of 69.050—saw plenty of close competition, as San Benito (11th, 68.500), Robert Vela (12th, 67.800), Hidalgo Early College (13th, 67.700) and Edinburg North (14th, 67.600) all finished within two points of a spot in Saturday night’s competition. Rio Grande City rounded out the Top 15 with a score of 66.300.
After another decent-size gap, James Pace (16th, 64.950) held a solid lead over four of the Prelims event’s closest competitors, Gladys Porter Early College (17th, 63.450), Juarez-Lincoln (18th, 63.400), Palmview (19th, 63.100) and McAllen Memorial (20th, 62.800).
Gladys Porter Early College finished atop the quarter thanks to strong scores in Music Performance, but McAllen Memorial also incurred a 1.9-point penalty that affected its placement considerably.
Nearby McAllen (21st, 61.650) and McAllen Nikki Rose (22nd, 61.450) also saw a close finish, with McAllen’s scores in both performance captions erasing their general effect deficit. Less than a point also separated La Joya (23rd, 58.250) and Economedes (24th, 57.800), although the latter took a penalty of 1.8 points.
In fact, a third of the event’s competitors incurred some kind of penalty—not that uncommon this early in the season — with the largest going to 25th-place Valley View, which scored 53.400 after a deduction of 2.6. Valley View topped Santa Rosa (26th, 53.100), which took home Saturday’s ‘A’ class title.