2018 Austin Regional

Prelims Results
(View full prelims recap here)

Class A
1. Ann Richards School, TX
2. Cuero H.S., TX

Music: Cuero H.S., TX
Visual: Ann Richards School, TX
GE: Ann Richards School, TX

Class AA
1. Rouse H.S., TX
2. Weiss H.S., TX
3. Veterans Memorial H.S., TX

Music: Rouse H.S., TX
Visual: Weiss H.S., TX
GE: Rouse H.S., TX

Class AAA
1. Leander H.S., TX
2. Vista Ridge H.S., TX
3. Cedar Park H.S., TX

Music: Leander H.S., TX
Visual: Leander H.S., TX
GE: Leander H.S., TX

Class AAAA
1. Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX
2. Vandegrift H.S., TX
3. James Bowie H.S., TX

Music: Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX
Visual: Claudia Taylor Johnson H.S., TX
GE: Vandegrift H.S., TX

The 2018 Austin, Texas, Regional will be held Sept. 29 at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. In 2017, Claudia Taylor Johnson kicked off their season with a huge win, sweeping captions in prelims and almost sweeping captions again in finals.

Our Thoughts
For the second year in a row, all of the finalists from the Austin Regional are returning to Kelly Reeves or, as Austin natives know it, The Palace. This regional has little turnover year to year, with four of last year’s finalists making finals at this competition in every iteration in the history of the regional (Vandegrift, Cedar Park, Round Rock, and Cedar Ridge). Further, the other six returning finalists have performed in finals here at least three times (Claudia Taylor Johnson, James Bowie, Leander, Vista Ridge, Hendrickson, and Winston Churchill). With all that said, this is a ripe year to see some switch-ups.

Vandegrift performs at the 2017 Austin Regional on Sept. 23, 2017, at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. // Photo by Jeremiah Wooten
In the same vein of last year, Johnson, Leander and Vandegrift are expected to fight for the title and land in the medal spots. These bands comprised the top three last year in prelims, with Leander barely falling to fourth in favor of Round Rock in finals. There’s buzz about all four of these groups making a possible trip to Lucas Oil Stadium next year, so this is an early chance to see where these groups are going design wise. As always, Cedar Park is expected to compete in the top half—especially coming off their third State Championship and fifth medal.

Discussing the last half of finals, it is important to provide a bit of context. The Austin area has seen an unusually large shift of directors throughout the spring and summer, leaving only one former finalist from the metro area with an intact group of directors. This makes it difficult to determine where bands may land, as much is in the air. It is quite likely that these same bands—Hendrickson, Cedar Ridge, Vista Ridge, Winston Churchill and James Bowie—will repeat again. However, we expect that Vista Ridge and James Bowie will likely improve on their placements last year and even challenge the top five after adding some top-notch directors to their staffs. But, we think it is time for new blood in the night show at this regional.

Both Weiss and Westwood have the best chance to crack through these mainstays and make their first appearance in Austin finals. Westwood has had their best season yet after scoring in the top half of St. Louis finals and their first ever placement in the teens at San Antonio. They have been steadily improving, and are coming into their own behind their district brethren, Cedar Ridge and Round Rock. We believe this will be their first regular season regional finals appearance. Weiss, now a second-year school, seeks to follow other recently established schools like Vandegrift and Cedar Ridge in showing itself to be a force before it has a full four grades in attendance. We also cannot count Rouse and Pflugerville out of contention. Rouse’s steady climb and Pflugerville’s close finishes last year are clearly noticed by our contributors.

We will miss former finalists and perennial competitors Anderson, Dripping Springs, and Westlake at Austin this year. However, they will all be at Waco in a few weeks. We also will miss Tom Glenn, which will clear the path for Weiss to be this regional’s class AA champion.

As always, this is a great competition from top to bottom, so swing by The Palace starting at 9:30 AM and stay until 10:30 PM. Our partner txbands.com will be blogging the entire competition live, and we’ll provide content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter throughout the day. Additionally, our friends at FloMarching will be streaming the entire competition live.

HornRank Contributor Jameil Brown authored this event preview.

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

Adjudication Panel
Music: Randy Greenwell, Don Hill, Albert Lo, and Jeff Mitchell.
Visual: Marie Czapinski, John Howell, and Robert Solomon.
Chief: Gary Markham.