SAN ANTONIO, Texas — The Miami Wardog marching band and color guard won big in band competition held in conjunction with the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas, on Wednesday, Dec. 27.
Miami, which received numerous honors in the competition, was the Overall Sweepstakes winner.
The 73-member group, under the direction of Toye Harris, earned Outstanding Music and Color Guard and First Place Overall in Class 2A parade competition.
“This was the pinnacle of our marching season,” Harris said shortly before the group headed back to Miami. “They have finished in fine fashion.”
During the field performance, the group earned Outstanding Color Guard, Outstanding Percussion, Outstanding Drum Major, Outstanding Marching and Maneuvering and Second Place Overall.
MHS was among 13 other bands that performed at the half of the Alamo Bowl football game Thursday, Dec. 28, at the Alamodome.
“The bands were from all over the United States and they are selected to come. You just don’t get to say ‘hey, let’s go to the Alamo Bowl,” Harris said. “You have to be on the list to get to come. It’s an elitist competition. They were fantastic.”
The Miami band and color guard performed with the other bands at the half of the Alamo Bowl, which saw TCU of the Big 12 Conference rally for a 39-37 win over Stanford.
Thursday was a full day for the Miami delegation: a dress rehearsal at the Alamo Dome, lunch at Rainforest Cafe and a little time on the Riverwalk and at the Alamo Mission, then back to the dome for Alamo Bowl festivities.
“We logged a 20-hour day, walked almost 11 miles and enjoyed a great Big 12 win with the TCU Horned Frogs,” Harris said on a Facebook post.
The current incarnation of the Alamo Bowl, which is sponsored by Valero Energy Corporation, began in 1993.
Oklahoma State played in the game in 2016.
This is the second time the MHS band has performed at one of the major bowl during Harris’ six years as director.
They performed at the 2012 BCS national championship game in New Orleans where Alabama rolled to a 21-0 win over LSU.
“This one takes the cake; we were extremely blessed,” Harris said. “The kids are fantastic and they work hard. They represented Miami in the greatest fashion, not just in performance, but in behavior and everything.
“It’s a classy bunch of kids.”
Harris said there is a code of conduct for being a Wardog band member.
“We take that very seriously,” she said. “We wear that ‘M’ very proudly.”
Next up for Miami is concert season, which leads up to the Oklahoma Secondary School Activity state competition in the spring.
“We will continue to work in pursuit of that OSSAA sweepstakes (award),” Harris said. “That is our goal each year is to receive superiors each year in marching band, then concert and sight reading competition.”
MHS has had two sweepstakes winners during Harris’ tenure.