The Lufkin High School Panther Band will soon cap off its competitive marching season.
The band will compete at the State Marching Contest for the National Association of Military Marching Bands at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at SFA’s Homer Bryce Stadium.
After Lufkin won state titles in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, rival band Lindale won last year’s contest. The Panther Band hopes to return to the mountaintop as the culmination of four months’ worth of marching rehearsals and repetitions.
The Class 5A bands standing in Lufkin’s way are, in order of their performance times Saturday night, Whitehouse, Montgomery, Huntsville, Vidor, Lindale, Jacksonville and Cleveland. Lufkin is the final band to perform this year.
Verania Martinez said the band has overcome its fair share of obstacles this season, like injuries, rain cancellations and last Friday’s misty game, which cancelled the band’s halftime drill. Still, the band members have faith that they can again claim the NAMMB State Championship.
According to nammb.org, The National Association of Military Marching Bands is an organization with a purpose “to promote and preserve the military precision style of performance among marching bands in America, and to encourage the superior performance of traditional march music from the band literature.”
George Little, director of the Panther Band, said military marching is unique because not very many bands march in this style anymore. He estimates that 95 percent of the marching bands in Texas follow the newer corps style. Little said NAMMB is important because it preserves the heritage of traditional marching bands.