(Seguin) -- Strike up the band or in this case, bands! Seguin High School is just days away from hosting its first ever marching contest at Matador Stadium. The Seguin Matador Band program is hosting the Seguin Marching Festival on Saturday, Sept. 30.
Seguin High School Band Director Stan Mauldin says the fundraising event will welcome a dozen or so area bands to the competition. The list of bands include Randolph, San Marcos, Harlandale, McCollum, Stephen F. Austin, Lockhart, Smithson Valley, Bastrop, Nixon-Smiley, Flatonia, Shiner, Del Valle, and Judson high schools.
"What we're trying to do is, I think that with the new facilities, we're trying to make -- for band at least -- we're trying to make this kind of the center of eastern San Antonio and the small school bands and that kind of thing. So we're talking about doing another concert contest in April or May. That will be held in the new auditorium in the Performing Arts Center. We're talking about having 12 teams showing up and we limit it to 12. I was pleased and surprised that we filled up quickly and we do that because we're doing a clinic with each band. That's kind of new. We go to a lot of contest and we play and we get to hear the judges' comments, but this particular contest, you get to see the judges and they get to talk directly to the children and the directors. That's kind of different and that's why we limited it to 12 but there will be 15,000 to 1,800 kids who'll show up. There will be a couple thousand adults that'll come to the contest and they'll come eat our food and that kind of thing for lunch. so it's a big deal for the town to have 3,500 people come to Seguin for a day. So for that day on Sept. 30, we're going to be kind of the band capital of this area. So it should be a good time," said Mauldin.
Mauldin says top quality judges have all accepted the invitation to be a part of this inaugural event at Seguin High School.
"What we have is we have five judges that we're bringing in. Richard Crane who is in Houston right now, but he's the president of the Mid-West Clinic in Chicago. We want him to see our kids. He's a really influential guy and a dear friend of ours. He agreed to come out. Keith Bearden who is a director of Emeritus at Texas Tech is coming out. So it's good for our kids who want to go that way to school, because he's already seen them. Then, we got three other judges from San Antonio and Austin that are good friends of ours that come out -- that clinic our band or have been around our band before. So we have those five individuals coming out to judge the programs and have them interact with these judges.
We're having supper with the judges. The directors are going to get to eat with the judges and just get to know everybody a little better," said Mauldin.
Mauldin says the event will not only be a contest but an unique educational opportunity for the hundreds of kids who will participate.
"No contest that we're doing this year has a half an hour clinic with it. Like there's a percussion guy coming in from Austin. He's one of the best drum instructors on the planet. He's a very good friend of ours. So think of that, if you can have the very best drum instructor in the country show up to your high school and tell you just squeeze the stick here or move your little finger there and it automatically gets better then just think how really cool that is for the kids. So that's the reason we're doing the contest. It's a fundraiser for us. If we wanted to just make money, we would've just opened it up to as many teams as we wanted. Having it here is really cool," said Mauldin.
Mauldin says thanks to the structure of the marching contest, both large and small school bands are able to take part in the event.
"It's a prelims (preliminaries) finals event. So the smaller school -- they have a real hard time making finals. So what we decided to do, is we sat around as a staff and we said 'what would be the things we would want if we were to do a band contest?' And so, it was like let's limit the size so everybody makes finals. So when we go to area in a couple of months, it's a prelims finals event. So almost everything we do is prelims finals. So we get used to doing a day show and a night show. So some of the smaller school bands, if you go to another contest like that, it's hard to compete with a larger school. So they never have the opportunity to do finals. So everybody makes finals. When you get finished at prelims, you'll talk with the judges, meet with them and then you're going to come into our band hall and watch the video tape which is unheard of. Usually, the kids don't get to see the tape at all. It's just a really cool educational opportunity for those bands," said Mauldin.
The marching festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Sept. 30. The public is encouraged to stop by and enjoy one if not all of the performances. The Matador Band is set to perform around 10 p.m. Saturday. A complete schedule of all of the performances can be found below. Tickets, which will be available at the gate, are $10 each and are good for admission to all of the performances that day.