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Council Approves Mariachi as Official UIL Contest

By Lauren Kelley, UIL intern | Wednesday, November 01, 2017 3:18 PM

After being a pilot contest for two years, the UIL State Mariachi contest will be an official UIL State competition beginning in the 2018-2019 school year if approved by the Commissioner of Education. The UIL Legislative Council approved the contest at its meeting on Oct. 16.

“UIL began a category for mariachi in 2007, but up until 2015-2016 the event was only held on the region level,” Music Director Dr. Brad Kent said. “Because of the growth and development of this activity in our schools we felt like the time was right to expand to a state level event.”

Kent says the contest is unique compared to other UIL music contests.

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55 Schools Competed at State Mariachi Festival Pilot

By Lauren Kelley, UIL Intern | Tuesday, August 23, 2016 10:27 AM

The State Mariachi Festival pilot was held at Southwest High School in San Antonio.
The State Mariachi Festival pilot was held at Southwest High School in San Antonio.

This past spring the UIL Music Department brought together students from across the state to celebrate the rich history and culture of Mexico through the UIL State Mariachi competition.

“In 2007, UIL began offering mariachi as a medium ensemble on the region level, but there was no advancement to a state event,” Director of Music Dr. Brad Kent said. “We felt like the next step was to create a state event to help continue the growth and development of mariachi programs in our schools.”

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Sponsor Excellence Award Nominations Due Nov. 9

By Lauren Kelley, UIL Intern | Wednesday, September 09, 2015 10:02 AM

The University Interscholastic League would not thrive without dedicated sponsors and coaches. One way UIL recognizes these men and women is with the Sponsor Excellence Award.

Each year UIL selects 15 Sponsor Excellence Award winners. The 15 recipients receive a $1000 check and plaque. There are three categories for the award: academic contest coaches (including One Act Play), athletic coaches and music directors. The award is meant to “recognize outstanding sponsors who assist students in developing and refining their extracurricular talents.”

The nomination link will be sent to superintendents and principals on Oct. 6.

"Some of the finest educators in the state have been recipients of this prestigious award,” UIL Executive Director Charles Breithaupt said. “The UIL Sponsor Excellence Award is presented to talented and dedicated coaches, directors and sponsors from across the state.”

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Winners Announced for 2014-15 UIL Lone Star Cup

By Chris Schmidt, Public Affairs Representative | Wednesday, September 09, 2015 9:58 AM

The University Interscholastic League announced the six winners of the 2014-15 UIL Lone Star Cup presented by State Farm.

In Conference 6A, Southlake Carroll High School won its sixth overall and fourth consecutive UIL Lone Star Cup earning 100 total points. The Dragon boys cross country, golf and swimming and diving teams each took home state championships while the girls cross country team placed fourth at state. Southlake Carroll won district and regional championships in academics and had regional finalist teams in football and girls soccer.

Reigning marching band state champion, Austin Vandegrift, added state titles in boys golf and girls swimming and diving on its way to the first Conference 5A UIL Lone Star Cup victory in school history. In addition to top five finishes at state in girls golf and boys swimming and diving, the Vipers were also state finalists in girls soccer and state semifinalists in football.

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Former Intern Joins Music Staff

By Lauren Kelley, UIL intern | Tuesday, February 10, 2015 2:46 PM

Rebecca Kinz
Rebecca Kinz

“Home is where you want to stay longer,” and for recent UIL hire Rebecca Kinz, this statement rings true. After senior music administrative associate Patty Esfandiari retired this winter, Kinz stepped in as a UIL employee for a second time.

“I have always dreamed about working back at UIL again,” Kinz said. “I worked with Patty when I was an intern for the music department my last year in college.”

Before returning to the League, Kinz was the performance librarian for the Butler School of Music at The University of Texas.

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Music Associate Retires After Almost Two Decades at League

By Lauren Kelley, UIL intern | Tuesday, February 10, 2015 2:30 PM

Former Music Director Richard Floyd (pictured left) and current Music Director Dr. Brad Kent honored Patty Esfandiari at the 2014 State Marching Band Contest at the Alamodome.
Former Music Director Richard Floyd (pictured left) and current Music Director Dr. Brad Kent honored Patty Esfandiari at the 2014 State Marching Band Contest at the Alamodome.

For 19 years, Patty Esfandiari embodied the UIL motto, “Making A World of Difference” as she served the state’s high school band directors, music directors, students and more.

Former UIL Music Director Richard Floyd said she was the “perfect example of the motto” as the administration associate in UIL.

“Her cheerful voice and caring demeanor will cheer you up immediately,” Floyd said. “She was and is a wonderful musician and it was immediately evident that she could relate with the music educators we serve.”    

In December after almost two decades of working for UIL, Esfandiari retired.

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Dance Like Nobody’s Watching

By Dr. Brad Kent, Director of Music | Monday, March 10, 2014 12:37 PM

Dance like nobody's watching.

This is a phrase we often hear when we are encouraged to be uninhibited and to express ourselves.  But why do we need this reminder?  I am often inspired when I see my daughters “dance like nobody’s watching” or do anything “like nobody’s watching.”  They have not yet acquired the learned behavior of fearing someone else’s judgment.  Therefore, they typically “perform” their best.

At some point we adults learn this element of fear that inhibits us from doing our best.  Human beings can be very judgmental by nature, so as we get older, this fear becomes firmly baked into our psyche.  Sometimes we are on the giving end of it, and sometimes we are on the receiving end of it. But most agree that when not handled properly this fear becomes a roadblock to achieving maximum results in performance.  Yes, we cannot do our best without a defined system of preparation, but we can maximize our performance potential in the moment by letting go of fear.  For instance, the performer must know that in order to achieve nirvana in a performance he or she must truly let go of any concerns and know that those concerns serve only to inhibit the performance.

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Former UIL Music Director Wins ‘Oscar’ of the Band World

By Jamie Oberg, UIL Intern | Monday, February 24, 2014 1:08 PM

Even though former UIL Music Director Richard Floyd officially retired last year, his resume and list of awards continues to expand.

Floyd is a recipient of the National Band Association’s 2013 Academy of Wind and Percussion Arts Award (AWAPA). The nine-inch silver AWAPA award is considered to be the “Oscar” of the band world.

"Knowing personally many of the musical icons who have received the AWAPA Award in the past, I will have to say that I was emotionally stunned to learn I had been so honored,” Floyd said. “I have never considered what I do to be 'award worthy.’ I simply have tried every day to be a ‘positive force’ in the professional world in which I live and work.  My goal remains to make the best music I know how and to make a difference in the lives of the students and colleagues around me."

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Leander ISD Makes History at State Marching Band Contest

By Mervin Malone, UIL assistant | Tuesday, December 10, 2013 10:02 AM

4A Conference Champion Vandergrift High School
4A Conference Champion Vandergrift High School

Photo by Photo courtesy of Jolesch Enterprises

UIL music history was made this year at the State Marching Band Contest when the Leander Independent School District became the first Texas school district to take the top three spots in the 4A division.

Vandergrift High School won the title of Conference 4A State Champion title. Cedar Park High School, the reigning 4A State Champion, won second place, and Vista Ridge High School brought home third place.

“This accomplishment would not have been possible until about 12 years ago because UIL marching band advancement procedures did not allow for more than two bands from any Area Marching Contest to advance to State ” Dr. Bradley Kent, UIL music director, said.

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The New 6A Conference and Music

By Dr. Brad Kent, Director of Music | Tuesday, December 03, 2013 2:14 PM

How will the new 6A conference alignment impact music?  I thought it might be helpful to issue some basic information to address questions that may arise relating to this change.

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