Front Row: Alyssa Kitchens, Beth Tatum, Connor Ainsworth, Will Hansard. Back Row: Jacob Sarmiento, Joel Sarmiento, Diego Barahona PHOTO BY: ANDY ADAMS/Lufkin ISD


UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest looked a little different this year but still produced the same talent from the students of the Lufkin Panther Band. The band normally attends the UIL Solo & Ensemble Contest in person, but this year due to COVID-19, the band had an in-house solo and ensemble festival to ensure the highest level of safety for the students. The contest still included professional judges and tough sheet music, and the students rose to the occasion of the high-level competition.

“Our judges were highly qualified UIL caliber judges. They were asked to assess our students with the same standard that they would use when judging at a UIL solo and ensemble competition,” said LHS band director George Little.

Receiving the title ‘Outstanding Soloist’ means the students’ performance stood out and was especially exceptional in the eyes of the judge that listened to the performance at the solo and ensemble festival.

The students who were selected with this honor will attend the Concerto Competition that will be held at Lufkin High School in late March or early April.

“We are excited to have Dr. Gary Wurtz, Interim Dean of the College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University and professional trumpeter, as our concerto competition judge.  Students will perform for Dr. Wurtz and will be ranked according to their performance,” said Little.

The winner of  Concerto Competition will be featured at the Lufkin High School spring band concert with the Lufkin High School Wind Ensemble, which is the top concert band.

“This will give the band program the chance to be shared with the public for them to see just how special our soloist student performers are,” said Little.

Including the Outstanding Soloists,  Lufkin High School Band students earned a total of 121 first division medals.

“I am blessed to share my time during the school day with our wonderful students. More than anything, I am happy for our outstanding soloists that they have learned first hand how hard work and dedication pay off.  These are some really special kids,” said Little.