2021 McAllen Regional

The 2021 McAllen Regional was held Sept. 18 at Veterans Memorial Stadium. Louis D. Bradeis won their first regional champion title, defeating reigning champion John B. Alexander. You can read our in-depth analysis of the results here.

(View full prelims recap here)

Due to heat, finals was canceled. Overall results are based on prelims performances.
1 (75.10) L.D. Brandeis, TX
2 (74.85) Weiss, TX
3 (73.60) Del Rio, TX
4 (73.525) J.B. Alexander, TX
5 (70.80) Roma, TX
6 (70.15) Georgetown, TX
7 (70.05) United, TX
8 (69.05) Pioneer, TX
9 (68.00) Grapevine, TX
10 (64.95) Harlingen, TX
11 (64.625) Hidalgo, TX
12 (64.075) Harlingen South, TX

Music: Louis D. Brandeis, TX
Visual: Weiss, TX
GE: Louis D. Brandeis, TX

Class A
1. Hidalgo, TX
2. Santa Rosa, TX

Music: Hidalgo, TX
Visual: Hidalgo, TX
GE: Hidalgo, TX

Class AA
1. Pioneer, TX
2. Rio Grande City, TX
3. Valley View, TX

Music: Pioneer, TX
Visual: Pioneer, TX
GE: Pioneer, TX

Class AAA
1. Roma, TX
2. Georgetown, TX
3. Grapevine, TX

Music: Roma, TX
Visual: Roma, TX
GE: Georgetown, TX

Class AAAA
1. Louis D. Brandeis, TX
2. Weiss, TX
3. Del Rio, TX

Music: Louis D. Brandeis, TX
Visual: Weiss, TX
GE: Louis D. Brandeis, TX
1. John B. Alexander, TX*
2. Roma, TX*
3. Winston Churchill, TX
4. Pioneer, TX*
5. McNeil, TX
6. Birdville, TX
7. Sharyland, TX
8. Del Rio, TX*
9. Mission, TX
10. United, TX*
* 2021 attendee
1. Claudia T. Johnson, TX
2. Seven Lakes, TX
3. John B. Alexander, TX*
4. San Benito, TX
5. Brazoswood, TX
6. United, TX*
7. Roma, TX*
8. Hidalgo, TX*
9. Pioneer, TX*
10. Edinburg, TX
* 2021 attendee
Music: Joe Allison, Dave Carbone, Marty Griffin, and Richard Saucedo*.
Visual: Mike Anderson, Chris Moss, and Randy Nelson.
*chief judge
Event Preview
By Aaron Blackley

The BOA McAllen regional is a notoriously difficult to predict regional due to how dynamic the bands of the south Texas region are, especially during the early season. This make sit challenging for many fans to follow this particular group of Texas bands. There are a lot of very underrated and overlooked programs in the general area, so I will be your guide for what to expect this upcoming weekend and what programs in particular you should be paying attention to. I've done my best to include accurate classes for each of the bands listed, but some schools may have changed class since 2019.

Block 1
9:45 AM — Gladys Porter, TX (AAA)
The schools of Brownsville, TX have long been some of the premiere marching programs of south Texas. While most of those top programs (Homer Hanna and Lopez in particular) have opted to not attend this competition, Gladys Porter as a rising star in this district has a chance to really surprise some people. This program has been gradually improving over the course of the decade, going from a band who rarely qualified for UIL area to a strong area finalist. Counting this band out of finals could prove to be a mistake.

10:00 AM — Harlingen, TX (AAAA)
Harlingen has been a south Texas powerhouse for many years and despite some slight regression in light of staff changes, they are still one of the competitors in south Texas. They actually last attended BOA McAllen in 2016 where they earned themselves a bronze medal. While they are unlikely to achieve that same level of success, you can still fully expect them to be in the running for finals once again.

10:15 AM — Rio Grande City, TX (AAA)
This program has flown under the radar of many due to their lackluster results at this regional in recent years, but I find it to be unfair. The last time they qualified for finals was the first year of the McAllen regional in 2015. I’ve personally always been very impressed with how good of a sound this program has been able to produce, which helds lead them to being a consistent state qualifier in their area. Especially given the increased finalist pool, I expect this program to make a strong statement and have a good chance at making finals.

10:30 AM — Robert Vela, TX (AAA)
This program is very similar to Rio Grande City in the fact that they have consistently attended this contest but haven’t made a finalist appearance since the mid-2010s. They are always a strong contender for state in their area, which often surprises people given their historically low early season placement at this regional. They were in the top 12 at this regional in 2019, so they are definitely a strong contender for finals.

10:45 AM — Pioneer, TX (AA)
This program from the Mission area quickly rose to prominence in 2016 and has remained a consistent finalist and class medalist at this regional since then. Pioneer also remains a consistent 5A state qualifier where they always place relatively high despite their smaller size. They show no signs of changing directions, so you should expect to see them perform twice this weekend.

Block 2
12:00 PM — Georgetown, TX (AAA)
Reigning from the Austin suburb of the same name, the Georgetown band is an up-and-coming 5A (AAA in BOA) program who has been making a name for themselves since 2017 when they qualified for state for the first time since 2000. Some staff changes in recent years has led to a renewed interest in BOA, with their last appearance in 2010 at the BOA San Antonio Super Regional where they placed 43rd out of 52 bands. You can expect this program to likely make a finals appearance, which would be their first time in school history achieving the feat.

12:15 PM — Weiss, TX (AAA)
Opening their doors in 2017 and collecting a handful of class A titles, then placing a very impressive 9th place at the 2018 St. Louis Super Regional as a school without seniors, and then making state finals in 2019, Weiss has been a very hot topic in discussions of up and coming bands. With their impressive history for such a young program, you can expect this program to have a strong case for top half and even an outside shot at taking a medal.

12:30 PM — Grapevine, TX (AAA)
Making the trip all the way from DFW is Grapevine, an up and coming band in a very similar position as Georgetown. While they have not qualified for state in recent years (their last appearance being 2001), they also haven’t ever made BOA finals and have been absent from the scene, last attending a regional in 1997. The other school in their district is a bit more well known, Colleyville Heritage, a former BOA San Antonio Super Regional finalist and 2019 state qualifier. Many are excited to see exactly how well this program will do this weekend as their ceiling could be higher than many expect.

12:45 PM — Santa Rosa, TX (A)
Despite being the only band in their class to be in attendance, they are still a fairly successful program. They are a consistent area finalist in their area for 3A and qualified for state in 2015 and 2017. While it is unlikely they will be qualifying for finals by score, they are guaranteed to have two performances on Saturday.

1:15 PM — United, TX (AAAA)
Reigning from the same district as Alexander, United will be another very strong competitor at this regional. While their 2019 finals results for McAllen may inspire some to doubt their chances, they remain a top competitor at this regional and there is little reason to assume they won’t make finals. While their show design isn’t quite on the same level as Alexander’s, their musical ability is right on par and they have occasionally upset Alexander at various competitions.

1:30 PM — Harlingen South, TX (AAA)
As opposed to their sister school, Harlingen South has actually been a program on the rise. In fact, they beat Harlingen in 2020 at both UIL area and state. In 2019 (which is probably a better measure for where these programs are at due to the lack of a pandemic), they were state alternates and just on the tale of Harlingen. Unlike Harlingen, they did not qualify for finals in 2016 or 2017, but they finished 4th at the 2005 La Joya regional. Them making finals would break a 15 year drought of making finals.

Block 3
2:30 PM — Del Rio, TX (AAAA)
This band has become a very recognizable name for people following the scene, with them in recent years regularly attending 3-4 regionals over the course of a single season. Fans of this program will be happy to hear that they have the same plans for this fall. While they tend to be a small program for their class, they have a very mature and large sound which is always backed up by solid arrangements. This band could make a run for a top six placement this weekend.

2:45 PM — Louis D. Brandeis, TX (AAAA)
This San Antonio band typically makes an appearance at BOA San Antonio, but did not attend in 2019, which means many may not be aware of what this program has been up to. In 2019, they made a massive step up in performance quality, having a stunning show awarding them a respectable 8th place finish at the Texas Marching Classic. I expect them to easily secure a medal and even contend for the championship which would make this not only their first BOA finals appearance, but also their first regional championship.

3:00 PM — Roma, TX (AAA)
I like to think of this program as the “protagonist” of south Texas given that they are consistently one of the top programs, but seem to miss out on well-deserved opportunities due to circumstances outside of their control. Most recently in 2019, they were entirely disqualified from competing at the area contest due to a timing penalty at their region performance because they ran over their allotted performance time by a few seconds. This greatly upset many fans as their 2019 show was in strong contention for a state finals spot. Roma will likely make another strong run for a medal this weekend.

3:15 PM — Hidalgo, TX (AA)
Texas is well known for not having many of their successful small programs (UIL 4A and below) compete, Hidalgo has long remained one of the few to consistently compete. They are a fairly consistent state finalist in their class, but their BOA record is slightly less consistent. It is always difficult to predict whether they will make finals or not at this regional since they seem to alternate between qualifying or not every year. With the increase to 12 finalists, their chances increase so I feel very comfortable mentioning them as potential qualifiers.

4:00 PM — John B. Alexander, TX (AAAA)
This program is the reigning regional champion for BOA McAllen and looks to be in strong contention for the championship after upsetting Winston Churchill and Roma in 2019. Not only are they successful on the competitive side of things, their shows almost always end up being fan favorites. Their show design is some of the most well-developed in the south Texas region and they should once again please both judges and spectators.