The Spirit of Waxahachie Band celebrated a Division 1 rating at the University Interscholastic League’s region marching contest in Duncanville last week.

Band Director Rich Armstrong said he was “extremely proud” of the team for their hard work.

“These kids continue to work towards the mission of inspiring and developing excellence for life,” Armstrong boasted.

The routine that got them through is called Panache.

“Panache is all about virtuosic showmanship,” Armstrong explained. “The idea is inspired by the performances of Liberace, who was known as Mr. Showmanship specifically for his elaborate and over-the-top production quality. Our musical arrangement includes Rocky Point Holiday by Ron Nelson, Prelude No. 2 by George Gershwin, and Flight of the Bumblebee by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov, and our primary means of communicating this theme is by using several of our most talented musicians as ‘super stars’ throughout the show…. The idea is that we have taken the best the Waxahachie Band has to offer this year and put it out on the field for an eight-minute showcase that entertains and inspires everyone in the audience.”

The band also took third place at the Bands of America Waco Regional Championship on Oct. 19.

Having long been a force in the state of Texas, the Waxahachie Band recently entered the top 30 bands in the nation in’s weekly online listing.

“We couldn’t be more proud of this recognition for our talented, dedicated band students and staff members,” said Waxahachie Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Bonny Cain in a recent press release. “Mr. Armstrong and his fellow band directors have an outstanding program, and they are very deserving of the national spotlight. Their success wouldn’t be possible without the strong group of parents and other volunteers who work with them week in and week out, and we are extremely appreciative of their investments into our band program and our students.”

The Spirit of Waxahachie Indian band has consistently placed in finals at local, regional and state competitions. It recently taking third place at the HEB Marching Contest at Pennington Stadium in Euless, behind Marcus High and Keller High.

As perennial finalists, the band continues to grow in mastery of both marching and musicianship, further highlighting the commitment and talent of their students – along with the work ethic and passion of the band staff, according to the school district.

“I have immense joy as a WISD administrator knowing the incredible opportunity Rich Armstrong and his hard-working staff provide to our students through the Spirit of Waxahachie, and a deep personal joy as the father of two daughters who have been able to reap what will become lifelong benefits through their participation in this fantastic program,” said Lee Auvenshine, Waxahachie ISD deputy superintendent and band parent. “The entry of the Spirit of Waxahachie into HornRank’s most recent national ranking of the best bands from across the country not only validates the exemplary nature of this program, it introduces Waxahachie to the nation as a preeminent musical destination and a place where excellence happens.”

This national ranking confirms that the Spirit of Waxahachie Indian Band has the dedication, discipline and talent to be a national name, the district boasted.