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UIL marching contest a chance to recruit talent

Nov. 2, 1999

By KRISTEN BRADBERRY

Reporter

Thousands of people including parents, school administrators and students filled Floyd Casey Stadium Monday to watch 23 Texas high schools compete in the conference 4A state marching band competition.

Held once a year, the competition is an important recruiting tool for Baylor and especially for the Golden Wave Band, said Jeff Grogan, director of the Baylor University Golden Wave Band.

'This is our main spot to recruit. This is where we get a lot of our students. It's a great opportunity to be able to host this,' said Quitman junior Kristen Fannin, the recruiting coordinator for the Golden Wave Band. 'We set up a table to provide information for students who have questions about Baylor and the Golden Wave Band. We continue to keep them informed about upcoming events and programs we offer.'

Each year the Golden Wave Band performs a show for the contest participants, with the hope that high school students will be impressed with what they see.

'Many students say they chose to attend Baylor because of what they saw in our perfo

rmance at this event,' Grogan said.

High school students have the opportunity to get to know many of the students in the Golden Wave band.

'Many people in the Baylor marching band are working here,' said Loretta Rodriguez, a Raymondville senior, an entry ramp coordinator for the event.

The band members work in shifts all day doing anything from directing bands onto the field to helping buses park, Rodriguez said.

'We totally coordinate all the operations, facilities and movement of the bands,' Grogan said. 'This is the third year that Baylor has hosted the competition, and it alternates between 4A and 5A each year. The stadium is centrally located, and it's big.'

Chaperones expressed their satisfaction about how smoothly the event ran.

'It's very organized. All the monitors keep everyone right on track and they are nice to the students,' said Connie Wiersum, Coppell High School chaperone coordinator.

Marching bands that compete at this level have made it past region and area competition. Out of the 23 schools competing, the judges choose 10 finalists to compete at the stadium later that evening.