The Ballinger Junior High band received the Sweepstakes award for Division 1 performances in both sight-reading and state performance following the UIL contest held Wednesday, April 19 at Cooper High School in Abilene.

The Ballinger Junior High band received the Sweepstakes award for Division 1 performances in both sight-reading and state performance following the UIL contest held Wednesday, April 19 at Cooper High School in Abilene.

The 26-member Red Band, known as the premier performance band for the junior high, won the accolades for their Sweepstakes under the direction of Band Director Matt Cleveland.

“This year’s band took the Ballinger JH Band program up a significant level,” Cleveland said. “Not only did they receive straight ones from every single judge, but they performed a demanding program of UIL Grade 2 music. This has not been done for over 10 years, maybe more.”

The band performed “Band in the Parade on the Fourth of July,” “As Twilight Falls,” and “Joy.”

“I am so proud of the Ballinger Band program for their hard work this year!” said Bearcat Band Director Janet Wilson. “Having the entire program at a UIL Sweepstakes level is such an accomplishment.

The junior high band is now preparing to perform during the Spring Concert, at 7 p.m. Monday, May 8 at the high school auditorium.

Cleveland said he will be submitting recordings from the contest to the “Outstanding Performance Series,” which will be judged over the summer.

“Last year the junior high band got first place in the region,” Cleveland said.

Wilson thanked the parents, Ballinger ISD as well as the Band Booster Club for their support.

“Thank you to all of the band parents, BISD school board and superintendent for the support they provide to the success of the Bearcat Bands,” Wilson said. “A very special thanks to the Band Booster Club for the work they do behind the scenes to be sure everything runs smoothly for the Bearcat Band - could not do it without this special group of people! We are looking forward to next year!”