2017 Austin Regional

Prelims Results
(View full recap here)

Class A
1. Weiss H.S., TX
2. Ann Richards School, TX
Music: Weiss H.S., TX
Visual: Weiss H.S., TX
GE: Weiss H.S., TX

Class AA
1. Pioneer H.S., TX
2. Burnet H.S., TX
3. East View H.S., TX
Music: Pioneer H.S., TX
Visual: Burnet H.S., TX
GE: Pioneer H.S., TX

Class AAA
1. Leander H.S., TX
2. Cedar Park H.S., TX
3. Dripping Springs H.S., TX
Music: Leander H.S., TX
Visual: Leander H.S., TX
GE: Leander H.S., TX

Class AAAA
1. Claudia T. Johnson H.S., TX
2. Vandegrift H.S., TX
3. Round Rock H.S., TX
Music: Claudia T. Johnson H.S., TX
Visual: Claudia T. Johnson H.S., TX
GE: Claudia T. Johnson H.S., TX

The 2017 Austin, Texas, Regional was held Sept. 23 at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. Claudia Taylor Johnson kicked off their season with a huge win, sweeping captions in prelims and almost sweeping captions again in finals.

Pre-competition Analysis
Vandegrift performs in finals at the San Antonio Super Regional on Nov. 5, 2016, at the Alamodome. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
Claudia T. Johnson performs in Grand National Finals on Nov. 12, 2016, at Lucas Oil Stadium. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
It’s not very often that all of last year’s finalists decide to return to a Bands of America competition, but that is exactly what’s happening at this year’s Austin Regional. Add to that list of top groups the former Austin Regional champion James Bowie and a couple of up-and-coming groups, and suddenly we have way more finalist-caliber groups than there are finals positions.

At the top of the pack, we expect to see Claudia Taylor Johnson, Leander, and Vandegrift fighting it out for the title. Each one of these groups has won a regional in the past two years. While none of them are heading to Grand Nats this season, Johnson and Leander just completed seasons that ended with Grand National Finals performances, and Vandy could certainly be in finals if they would ever make the trip up to Indianapolis.

Cedar Park and Round Rock are in the best position to round out the top half. Round Rock will be returning to Grand Nats this season and always seems to do better during years they’re attending Grand Nats. Cedar Park finished last season as the highest-placing Texas band at Grand Nats, so why do we have them behind several groups they beat last season? It’s September. We’ll see how much their show can grow from now to San Antonio.

James Bowie performs in Grand National Semifinals on Nov. 12, 2016, at Lucas Oil Stadium. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
Winston Churchill performs at the San Antonio Super Regional on Nov. 5, 2016, at the Alamodome. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
Our prediction for sixth place is James Bowie. The former Austin Regional champion's lead director Kimberly Shuttlesworth left Bowie to open Tom Glenn High School before the start of last season but was able to maintain much of its success. Bowie was named regional champion at McAllen and earned a finalist position at Plano before heading to Grand Nats, where they earned 18th overall in semifinals.

The last grouping of bands includes programs that have enjoyed recent success, but aren’t guaranteed another finalist spot this year. Hendrickson and Winston Churchill made finals at multiple regionals and the San Antonio Super Regional last year. Churchill is heading to Grand Nats this year for the first time since 2010. A finals appearance there would be the band’s first in over 10 years. Hendrickson is also making school history with the school’s first super regional appearance last season. Vista Ridge and Cedar Ridge placed just out of finals at last year’s San Antonio Super Regional, but both schools have the potential to be in finals this year with the right show and right energy.

There is also and handful of groups looking to upset these presumed finalists. Dripping Springs, Pioneer, Rouse, and Westlake each bring the energy and excitement that can only be found in groups that know they aren’t guaranteed a finals performance. Any of these groups could, with the right performance, find themselves performing again in finals.

This is one of the competitions you’ll want to sit and watch all the way through: from Pioneer kicking off prelims at 7 a.m. to whatever groups concludes finals at 10 p.m. If you don’t have time to watch online, we’ll be bringing you coverage of this exciting regional all day long on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts. And make sure you check out the live blog run by our friends at txbands.com.

1. Vandegrift H.S., TX
2. Leander H.S., TX
3. Claudia T. Johnson H.S., TX
4. Round Rock H.S., TX
5. Cedar Park H.S., TX
6. James Bowie H.S., TX
7. Winston Churchill H.S., TX
8. Vista Ridge H.S., TX
9. Hendrickson H.S., TX
10. Cedar Ridge H.S., TX

Adjudication Panel
Music: John Bell, Don Hill, Allan Kristensen, and Mike Rubino.
Visual: Lee Carlson, Bret Mascaro, and Kyle Miller.
Chief: Gary Markham.