HARLINGEN — The horn section charged with electric precision into the piece, drums injecting their fiery rat–a-tat-tat into the moment, creating a passionate musical fury which ignited the senses.

It was power and belief and anticipation woven together into a complex musical tapestry. But still …

“That right there was lackluster,” said Maria Coronado, band director for Harlingen High School.

With the 77th Pigskin Jubilee UIL marching band contest looming, the order of the day was fine tuning, strengthening the edge the students had over the music and their performance tonight.

“Things are going fantastic,” Coronado said earlier this week as her students prepared their halftime show “Rhap Star” for tonight’s competition at Bobby Morrow Stadium in San Benito.

“We’re very excited about Saturday,” Coronado said. “We’re looking forward to performing for a large crowd that will be there to hear kids perform from all those different schools. We’re looking forward to that.”

Harlingen High School, Harlingen High School South and San Benito High School will compete against each other and six other 6A bands in Hidalgo and Cameron counties. Harlingen South band director Shane Shinsato said his kids are likewise excited about performing their show “Metamorphosis.”

“It looks like we’re going to peak at just the right time,” Shinsato said. “We had a little setback a couple of weeks ago as far as having to rewrite some music and drill. For time’s sake we had to rearrange the last movement.”

The upside of that disruption was a more robust practice regimen.

“We spent a little bit more time learning the show than we normally have done in the past,” Shinsato said. “We’ve had great success on our last two pre-UIL competitions, so we should be locked and loaded and ready to go for Saturday.”

Harlingen South senior Rey Isaguirre echoed Shinsato’s enthusiasm.

“I feel like our band is in a really good spot right now,” said Rey, 17, who plays the euphonium. His part in the band presents its own challenges.

“There are a lot of changes in the key signatures of the third movement,” he said.

The show with all its visual displays has impressed him.

“This one is strong and it really shows our presence,” he said.

Coronado’s student Kaitlyn Gonzales expressed admirable pride in the Cardinal band.

“We’ve been working really hard,” she said. “We’ve been improving with each performance we do. I like the show. It’s a lot of fun.”

Incidentally, the 18-year-old Kaitlyn is section leader for the clarinets.

“I think the most challenging part is our technique,” she said. “We’ve put in a lot of effort to get it right.”

The HHS band’s “Rhap Star” show is a delightful rendition based on Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

“We just took the first half of rhapsody from ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and did a little word play with it,” Coronado said.

Harlingen South’s “Metamorphosis” promises to impress the audience tonight with some striking visuals.

“It literally shows cocoons on the field and then growing into butterflies,” Shinsato said. “And we have butterflies represented through drill and through costuming and several things.”

The San Benito High School band is primed and ready for tonight’s competition with its show, “The Summit.”

“It’s basically a mountain-themed show, both visually as well as our opening theme, ‘In the Hall of the Mountain King’,” said Band Director Dayri Mendoza.

The Greyhound band will have a dazzling visual of someone climbing a mountain on the field while students perform music inspired by four pieces: “In the Hall of the Mountain King” by Edvard Grieg; James Howard’s “The Hand of Fate”; “PM’s Love Theme” by Craig Armstrong; and another piece by Carol Chambers.

“The music is thematic material which comes together,” Mendoza said. “Basically we have a visual concept, a mountain climbing, and then the music is reflective of that theme.”

Why these pieces?

“We chose them because we felt that the music, the way it was arranged, would be something that would showcase our student’s ability and talent,” he said.

Mendoza’s young musicians spoke with great zeal about tonight’s competition.

“I think the show this year is very well put together,” said Drum Major Allen Hurtado, 17.

“I know the teachers and directors really put this show together to show that we can be competitive,” he said.

All three of these bands are eager to show their stuff tonight, having spent months of grueling and enthusiastic practice to prepare.


WHAT: 77th Pigskin Jubilee UIL marching band contest

WHEN: Tonight

WHERE: Bobby Morrow Stadium

2025 La Palma St.

San Benito, TX 78586

For more information:



6:30 p.m. — San Benito High School Band will perform its show “The Summit.”

7:15 p.m. — Harlingen High School South Band will perform its show “Metamorphosis.”

7:30 p.m. — Harlingen High School Band will perform its show “Rhap Star.”