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GHS Lion Pride Band Wins ‘Sweepstakes’ Award for First Time in Over 30 Years

On Thursday, March 3, the Greenville High School Lion Pride Band traveled to Gladewater High School to compete in the Region 4 UIL Concert and Sight Reading Contest. The Band earned the UIL ‘Sweepstakes’ award, which can only be achieved by earning a Division I rating, which is the highest, in concert, marching and sight-reading within the same calendar year. This is the first time in over 30 years that the band has earned this outstanding achievement.

 “This is the only cumulative award given by the University Interscholastic League and it is very hard to achieve,” said Director of Bands, Joel Weisberg.  “After earning a Division I rating in UIL marching contest earlier this year, there was a lot riding on this competition,” said Weisberg.

The Band’s concert program included Cincinnatus March/VanderCook, The Seal Lullaby/Whitacre, and Glaciers/Director. “Our students performed beautifully on stage,” said Weisberg, “they were extremely focused, and represented Greenville and GHS in an extremely positive way,” he continued.  For the sight-reading portion of the competition, the band were given a Grade 5 piece of music, which they had never seen before, and had eight minutes to rehearse the new music before performing for the judges. “I’ve been with the band in the sight reading room before, and I could tell this was a particularly difficult piece,” said Greenville High School Principal, Heath Jarvis.

According to school records, the last time that the GHS Band earned the ‘Sweepstakes’ award was in 1979-1980, 36 years ago, under the direction of Bill Goodson, who still resides in Greenville.

In addition to the Band’s ‘Sweepstakes’ award, they can also brag of a Finals performance at the Mt. Pleasant Marching Invitational, a trip to the Area C Marching Competition representing Region 4, students participating in the TMEA All-Region bands, students who were nominated for the Texas A&M Commerce Honor Band, and 47 students earing a Division I rating at the Region 4 UIL Solo and Ensemble Contest, 24 of which will compete at the Texas State Solo and Ensemble Competition in Austin in May.

“There is NO WAY we could be prouder of our students! They were able to do something that is very rare- and did it with pride, dedication, and class. Our band staff, parents, administration, and students are honored to call the ‘Lion Pride’ Band SWEEPSTAKES winners in 2016!” said Weisberg. 

The Lion Pride Band is a legendary and longstanding tradition of Greenville High School. For more information on the band program at GHS, contact Director of Bands, Joel Weisberg, at