WHITESBORO — After coming in first place at the area UIL marching contest, the Whitesboro High School band is advancing to the state contest to be held Nov. 4 in San Antonio.

WHITESBORO — After coming in first place at the area UIL marching contest, the Whitesboro High School band is advancing to the state contest to be held Nov. 4 in San Antonio.


The band performed at the Region 25 UIL contest on Oct. 19 before advancing to the area UIL contest on Oct. 26. Out of 20 2A marching bands competing at the area contest, Whitesboro came in first place — the first time in the school’s history to do so.


"We’ve been telling the kids, ‘We want you to create your own legacy.’ So that was exciting for us to do something that no Whitesboro band has done before," said Band Director Jim Cude.


The band’s show is titled, "Bushido: Way of the Warrior," and is based on the moral code that Japanese samurai lived by, Cude said. The show’s music consists of a Japanese folk song, music from the movie "Princess Mononoke" and a song from the "Final Fantasy" video game.


"The show is fast-paced and it’s really punchy, and the visuals we’re doing this year are insane," said Drum Line Section Leader Nathan Penalver, who is a senior. "I’ve seen our band over the last few years, and we have elevated our visuals by a lot."


The Pride of Whitesboro has been to the state competition five times in the past: 1998, 2002, 2004, 2006 and 2008. However, because the state contest alternates between 2A and 3A schools each year, and because Whitesboro High School changed from 3A to 2A in 2012, the band recently went two years without the opportunity to attend the state contest.


Cude said he believes the two "off years" helped motivate the band members to attend the state contest this year. Band members agreed. Senior Baxter White said he remembers the disappointment his freshman year when the band did not qualify for state and thinks the seniors this year did not want to re-live that disappointment.


"We were like, ‘We really need to get it in gear, and start making the show worth state,’" White said.


The band will compete against 20 other 2A bands at the state competition. Among the band’s competitors will be three other bands from Grayson County: Howe and Van Alstyne. Sherman High School’s band also earned a trip to the state band marching competition.


"I think it’s so cool that Grayson County is sending four bands to the state contest," Cude said. "I am very proud of our Grayson County folks."