In one last hail to spring, the Stephen F. Austin Middle School band brought blossoming sounds to the steps of the Bryan Civic Auditorium Tuesday. However, their performance wasn't the high note of the morning, as an announcement at the finale even took the students by surprise.
The SFA band concert is like a right of spring in Bryan. Unlike many other schools, they take their performance outdoors and play from the front steps of the auditorium.
Tuesday's music consisted of many of the band's performance pieces included those played at the University Interscholastic League (UIL) competition and the recent Splashtown Band Festival.
Director Robert Tatum says the band has had an exceptional year. For the second time, the band received sweepstakes honors again at UIL. Tatum says a sweepstakes award is given to a band for winning first place in concert and in sight reading performance.
The SFA band is divided into three sections: Beginner, Symphonic and Concert.
Besides UIL, the other big competition for a middle school band is the Splashtown Band Festival, which is sponsored by the Spring High School Band Booster Club. For the first time, the symphonic band was awarded the "Best in Class" honor.
The announcement was made as the grand finale to the spring concert. The symphonic band has never won the award before.