BSHS band in concert at St. Mary’s Thursday

The Big Spring High School band is ready to put the cap on another successful year.The band, which recently won another Sweepstakes award in University Interscholastic League competition, will perform at the annual Virgin of St. Mary's Episcopal Church Eastertide Offering concert, set for 12:05 p.m. Thursday in the the St. Mary's sanctuary.Admission is free to concert, which is expected to last about 30 minutes, and lunch will be provided afterward.The Steer Band earned Sweepstakes honors by claiming Division I ratings (the highest possible) at UIL marching, concert and sight-reading contests this school year, Director Rocky Harris said.Big Spring bands earned four Division I ratings at recent concert competition — aside from Harris' Honor Band, the Symphonic Band (directed by Hale), Concert Band and the No. 1 junior high band (both conducted by Daniel Garrett) earned the top UIL ratings. Emily Andrews' No. 2 junior high band earned a Div. II rating in concert competition.The Honor Band also qualified for the State Wind Ensemble Festival, to be held in May at the University of Texas at Austin.“It's the first time we've ever qualified for the festival,” Harris said. “It's kind of like the state marching contest, except for concert bands … We're very excited about having the chance to go down to Austin and perform there.”Also, 80 BSHS band students have qualified for state UIL solo and ensemble contest to be held in Austin May 28.To top everything off, however, Harris announced the band has been invited to make a return trip to New York to perform in the Debut Series of young musician concerts at Carnegie Hall.Harris said the band's New York concert is scheduled for March 25, 2013.