On Friday, October 29, when the Lufkin High School Panther Marching Band is marching and performing at the final home football game of the season, you'll be watching one of the best military marching bands in the state.  In fact, you might be watching the best of the best with a state championship to prove it.

The Lufkin High School Panther Marching Band earned first division ratings from all judges at the UIL Region 21 Marching Contest on Saturday, October 16.  Earning a first division qualified the band to advance to the first ever UIL State Military Marching Championship for the combined 5A/6A classification. The state contest will be held at Pine Tree ISD Pirate Stadium on Wednesday, October 27.

There are eleven 5A/6A military bands that are competing at the state contest. All bands will march in prelims on Wednesday afternoon, with the top five bands advancing to finals on Wednesday evening. At the conclusion of finals, first through fifth place will be announced. The top three ranking bands in finals will receive UIL state champion 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place trophies, and the students from those three bands will all receive UIL state champion gold, silver, or bronze draped medals.

photos by DALTON CURRIE/Lufkin High School Student Media

"This is an exciting time for military marching bands!  Prior to the creation of this contest, the only option for military bands to participate in UIL comparison based marching competitions was to compete against corps style marching bands. We are very grateful to UIL for sanctioning this pilot program, and to the National Association of Military Marching Bands for running the contest, so that the military marching style can be celebrated in an “apples to apples” comparison-based contest," said George Little, Director of Bands at Lufkin ISD.

Ticket prices for the state military marching contest are $20 for prelims, $20 for finals, or $35 for a prelims/finals combo package. Children under the age of three are free.

For a full schedule follow this link, CLICK HERE.

For a live stream of the event, CLICK HERE and scroll down until you find the live stream link.

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