The last time La Porte High School’s Mighty Bulldog Marching Band was honored as a UIL Area Finalist, the World Wide Web was merely an idea, and George H.W. Bush was still weeks away from being sworn in as our 41st president.
Oh, and Houston Texans star J.J. Watt was only months old.
A group of students—many of whom were at least 15 years from even being born when the band last brought home an Area trophy—finally broke that string on Dec. 12 on a chilly Saturday afternoon in Waller.
The band and color guard snagged third-place in visual performance at Area, earning the first Area Finalist designation for La Porte High School since 1989.
La Porte was among a relative handful of schools that qualified for the Area competition after earning Sweepstakes, a composite first division rating by all judges, at the Region 19 UIL Marching Contest on Nov. 14 in Channelview.
"I can tell that your parents and community are very proud of you, as they should be.,” wrote Joni Perez, a contest judge who is director of bands at Woodlands High School. “What a huge accomplishment just to make all of this happen, but then to do it with such confidence and with such a great production and emotional value.”
Unlike all years that weren’t 2020, La Porte’s band marched in almost as many contests this year as it did football games – three and five, respectively. Needless to say, opportunities to perform publicly and refine the presentation were few and far between this year.
“The true measure of a person is how they react when face with great challenges,” Head Band Director Doug Eger told his students after learning of the Area Finalist honor. “You have not only overcome every challenge this year, but you have done so with dignity and pride while being incredibly competitive and successful.
The Area contest effectively wrapped up the 2020 marching band season for La Porte High School, and now the band moves into concert season, during which it will also compete as an ensemble.