11 DHS Band members advance to State in UIL Solo & Ensemble

Eleven Devine High School Warhorse Band members made history this past Saturday, February 2, 2019 with their success at the Region 11 UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest held at Southwest High School advancing two ensembles and three soloists to State.
State Qualifiers
Advancing to State UIL Solo & Ensemble as soloists: Josephine Taitano (Junior) with her Flute, 1st Division, Solo; Amy Robinson, (Senior) with her Bassoon, 1st Division Solo; and Caleb Martin (Sophomore) with his Snare Drum, 1st Division Solo.
Advancing to State UIL Solo & Ensemble as an ensemble: Percussion Ensemble Quartet: Pauline Calame (Sophomore) on Xylophone, Krista Davis (Senior) on Vibraphone, Jacob Guajardo (Freshman) on Marimba, & Madalyn Zamorano (Senior) on Marimba.
Advancing to State UIL Solo & Ensemble as an ensemble: Clarinet Ensemble Quartet: Clarissa Maldonado (Senior), Madilynne Mohr (Sophomore), Alyssa Rodriguez (Senior), & Dulce Rodriguez (Senior).
“This represents the largest group of DHS Warhorse Band students advancing to the State UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest!! Woohoo!!” said Jeff W. Miller, MM, Director of Bands, Devine I.S.D.” Students will continue to prepare and refine their music for the State Contest which is held on June 1-3 in Austin!”
Competing but not advancing was soloist Chris Salazar (Senior), Alto Saxophone, 1st Division Class One Solo. Congratulations Chris. (Soloist must memorize their music to advance, some choose not to.)
Congratulations to Devine Band Directors Jeff W. Miller, MM, Director of Bands, and Assistant Directors Tom Settles and James Quintero. The band program has made history with the number of students advancing at every contest this year under their leadership as well as last year.
Growing Pains
As our band program continues to grow – now at a point approaching 350 students, grades 6-12 – and experiencing great success, new problems are arising. All of these problems could most easily be described as ‘growing pains’ – something our entire school district is experiencing.
So currently Mr. Miller is working closely with the DISD administration to plan for the future and provide for the needs of the program. With more students comes more instruments and a need for more space – so a new band hall facility is a real necessity in the near future.
Also, the current band staff will need to be increased to adequately cover the teaching responsibilities. All of these issues mirror the larger issues within our schools as DISD continues to attract new residents and students.
According to Mr. Miller, “These are exciting times to be a part of the Devine Band program and the DISD! Growth and success always provide challenges, and I am sure our administration, school board, and community will rally together to provide for our kids!!”
Neighboring towns of Hondo and Natalia are experiencing similar issues with growth and great success as well, and are building new band halls or performing arts centers or have them in the pipeline.
Interesting side note: music is an important part of our daily lives as evident in the fact that every vehicle has a radio in it!
By Kathleen Calame