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April 17, 2014

Roaring with pride

GREENVILLE — The Greenville High School Lion Pride Band performs well under pressure, according to GHS band director Joel Weisburg

The band recently competed in the Region 4 UIL Concert and Sight Reading competition in Mount Pleasant on April 9-10.

Weisburg, who is in his first year of directing in Greenville, said the band played very well during the comptetition, and he has the results to prove it.

The band received straight division 1’s on stage, and a 2 in the Sight Reading room.

The UIL rating system is on a scale from 1 through 5 where a 1 is “Superior” and a 5 denotes a “Poor” performance.

“For a first year, the students worked very hard and the parents were extremely supportive,” he said.

Weisburg said the Sight Reading competition is the most stressful of the competitions because the band only gets 10 minutes to learn a brand new piece of music.

“It’s stressful because everyone’s trying their hardest,” he said .”And they get one shot at performing it.”

Weisburg said the band prepared for the Sight Reading competition by holding their own version of the competition based on the old Sight Reading musical numbers.

Preparing for the concert was simple, Weisburg said, because the band plays live concerts year-round for the public, including during marching season, a special concert for veterans and during the holiday seasons.

“During the course of a year we play a lot,” he said.

Weisburg has one assistant at the high school, Richard Burt, and two other directors, Kent Tidwell, director at Greenville Middle Shool, and Amy Dykes, who is the director at the Sixth Grade Center.

The four of them working together is what helped the band reach the high marks they received, according to Weisburg.

“The four of us are very lucky that we can help each other every day,” he said

The band is hosting a showcase event that will have performances not only from the band, but also from the Flaming Flashes drill team.

The event, themed “Night at the Movies,” is on May 2 and 3 inside the GHS gym and will run from 7:30 to 10 p.m. both nights.

“I think it’s going to be great,” he said.

Weisburg said this is the end of a great first year for him and the band and looks forward to continuing the success they had in the UIL competition.

“This is a great cap-off in our year,” he said. “I could not have asked for a better year for our kids. It was great. There are lots of good things to look forward to.”

The band is also taking a trip to San Antonio to play in the Alamo Showcase of Music from May 16 through 18.

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