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Band makes history with UIL Sweepstakes award

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March 17, 2011 - For the first time in Leonard High School's history, the Leonard High School Band earned a Division 1 rating in UIL Marching, Concert, and Sight-reading Contests, which earned them a UIL Sweepstakes trophy for 2010-11.

The band competed in the UIL Region 25 Concert and Sight-reading contest in Pottsboro on Thursday, March 10. Under the direction of Jennifer Stidham and Matt Stidham, the band played three prepared pieces on stage, then proceeded to play a piece they had never seen before in the sight-reading portion of the contest.

The Division 1 ("Superior") rating is not handed out generously. Out of the 25 1A-3A bands that competed, only four earned the Division 1 rating at the two day contest.

"I can't tell you how proud I am of these kids," says Jennifer Stidham, director of the band. "They have worked extremely hard this season, and deserve every award they get. I feel so honored to be in this position, leading this amazingly talented group of young people in accomplishing this goal. This is such a special time in Leonard's school history, and this band is making a name for Leonard everywhere they go."

The concert judges for the day were Mr. Fred Pankratz of Canadian, Mr. Chris Brannan from Atlanta, and Mr. Ross Boothman of Lumberton. The sight-reading judges were Mr. Don Thoede of Clifton, Ms. Jean Bryant of Ft. Worth, and Mr. Lonnie Baker from Paradise.

Pictured, the Leonard High School Band celebrate their history-making Division 1 rating, which clenched a 2010-11 UIL Sweepstakes trophy for the group.

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