Mineola band hosting marching festival


Mineola Sound of the Swarm, the only band in Texas to hold the State Marching title and the Honor Band title, is gearing up for a very busy October dubbed “Bandtober” by participants.

Mineola will be hosting a marching band festival for the fourth year on Oct. 14. Beginning at 8 a.m. 25 bands will be competing in the preliminary round. Tyler Junior College’s Apache Band will have an exhibition performance at 5 p.m. before the eight finalists are announced. 

Sound of the Swarm will not be competing but will have an exhibition performance at 9 p.m. before announcing the final results of the competition.

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. Entry fee is $5, and children 3 and under are free. Concessions will be available all day, including Chick-fil-A sandwiches and the Kona Ice snow cone truck.

The festival is the band’s biggest fundraiser. Money generated is used to offset the costs of the many competitions, performances and invitationals in which they participate. Invitationals such as the one they competed in at Little Elm High School Classic on the Lake Marching Contest on Saturday, Sept. 28 allow bands to develop their shows through performance and judge feedback.

Out of 19 marching bands, most being 5A and 6A status, competing at the Little Elm invitational, the Swarm was the only small school in the top 10 of the finals. They took home the Outstanding in Class Award. 

Mineola competed at the 2019 Sounds of Fall Marching Classic in Princeton on Saturday, Oct. 5. In the preliminary competition, they received all possible awards in the 3A category: 1st Place Overall, Best Music, Best Marching, Best Drum Line and Best Auxiliary. They were the only 3A band to advance to finals and finished third out of ten bands.

The band will compete at the regional UIL level on Oct. 22 before advancing to area UIL on Oct. 26. They have full confidence in progressing to the State UIL Marching Competition at the Alamodome in San Antonio on Nov. 6. 

In February, they will return to San Antonio to perform as the State 3A Honor Band at the Texas Music Educators Association annual convention and clinic.