Competing against the best high school marching bands in Texas, the Cedar Ridge High School marching band bested 30 school bands to earn 11th place in the 6A division during the University Interscholastic League (UIL) State Marching Band Contest held from Nov. 5-7 at the Alamodome.

It was a difficult journey to get to the state band contest. The band had to place in the UIL regional competition to earn a slot in the area contest, then compete in area contests, which bring together bands from five different regions to compete for a spot in the state contest.

“The whole band started the year with an agreement that we would play to the best of our ability and treat each other with respect,” Cedar Ridge Band Director John Peterson said. “I attribute our success throughout the season and at state to that agreement.”

During the state competition and preliminary rounds, bands are scored by five judges, with three grading the musical performance and the remaining two scoring the choreographed marches.

At this year’s competition, the Raider band performed four songs: “Polovetsian Dances” by Alexander Borodin’s, “Sabre Dance” by Aram Khachaturian, “Spartacus” by Van Der Roost and — a familiar song for classic rock fans — “Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin.

UIL rules only allow school bands to qualify for the state competition every other year, leaving Cedar Ridge ineligible for 2019. But for now, Peterson said he is thrilled with his band’s high accolade.