Marching band practice hours not restricted by UIL

Long hours for HS bands

SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- It's a hot summer day and the field outside of SAISD's Jefferson High is deserted and quiet. Inside the Music building, however, it's anything but quiet.

"The students have been working very hard on this year's marching production," said Robert Duran, Band Director for the Mighty Mustangs at Jefferson High School.

And hitting every note and getting every step right is crucial. "We actually started (practicing) before the football players did," said band member, Brandon Castillo.

The Mighty Mustangs know come game day, everyone depends on them. "We are the spirit of the school," said Castillo.

"We have almost unlimited time to rehearse," said Duran. That's because the University Interscholastic League, or UIL, doesn't set summer practice restrictions.

"We leave that up to the local music administration and the district administrators," said George Strickland, UIL spokesperson.

Duran takes it upon himself to keep summer practice mostly indoors. The Mighty Mustang band practices Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

"We have colleagues through the city that go 8 to 5 and some 8 to 8," said Duran.

Duran said If they practice outside it's done in the morning.

"Water is 100 percent necessary every student is required to have a water jug," said Duran. And that is a soothing note to hear for parents, like Minerva Cuellar, whose son is a Mighty Mustang band member.

According to Strickland, he has received calls from concerned band parents across the state.

He said he explains the guidelines and encourages parents to take up any concerns with local administration.


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