What's Happened in the Highlander Band

October 2017


Save the Date: We’re Going to STATE!

Huge congratulations to the Highlander Band for advancing to the 5A UIL State Marching Contest!!!

This is the first time in the Highlander Band’s 90+ history to go to State!  

They will perform last in prelims in the Alamodome (San Antonio, TX) on November 8th at 5:30 P.M.

For tickets, please click here. If you cannot be there in person, sign up for live stream coverage. 




Highlander Band Named Grand Champions at Midlothian Marching Showcase

The Highlander Band claimed its first Grand Champion title after competing against numerous 5A and 6A schools on Oct. 7 at the Midlothian Marching Showcase.

While the program has earned a number of class championships over the last four years, the band has never won a large marching contest until now.

They also won caption awards for best general effect, best marching, best winds, and best percussion.

The Highlander Band will compete against other 5A schools Oct. 19 in the UIL Region Marching Band Contest in hopes of advancing to the UIL Area competition Oct. 28.


September 2017

Percussion Begins Fundraising for PASIC Performance

Greetings Highlander Band Family!

As many of you may have heard, the HPHS Percussion Ensemble won the 2017 Percussive Arts Society - Call for Tapes!

This past spring, the Highlander Percussion Section submitted recordings of our most advanced musical selections that were then judged by a panel of collegiate professors and professional percussionists, and HP was selected as one of the winning ensembles!  This is a HUGE honor for our students and reflects their incredible dedication and skill level. HP was one of only three high-school percussion ensembles to be selected out of numerous of submissions, and we now have the honor to perform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis, November 2017!

This is the largest and most prestigious percussion contest in the US. To be selected is the highest honor an ensemble can receive in this field. Other notable groups that will play at PASIC 2017 include: The Blue Man Group, The China Conservatory of Music, The Eastman School of Music, Michigan State University, and Northwestern University.  This is a really big deal and the performance of a lifetime for our students.

The Highlander Band program is very fortunate to have the incredible support of the Highlander Band Boosters, but trips of this nature are impossible to plan for in advance and require funding beyond what is raised for the band's annual budget. Therefore, we are raising funds specifically to help get our students to Indianapolis as they prepare to perform an outstanding showcase concert and have an amazing musical experience.

Click this link to support HP Percussion on our trip to Indianapolis and PASIC! Any amount helps! Thank you!

July 2017
HP Percussion Win the 2017 Percussive Arts Society - Call for Tapes!

HP Percussion is one of only three high school percussion ensembles selected to perform at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Indianapolis in November 2017! HP Percussion will perform a 50-minute showcase concert for more than 5,000 music educators, composers and performers attending the PASIC.
HP Percussion submitted recordings of our most advanced ensembles this past spring that were judged by a panel of collegiate professors and professional percussionists, and HP was selected as one of the winning ensembles! 
 This is a huge honor for our percussion program and its director James LaBrecque! The PAS Call for Tapes is the largest and most prestigious percussion contest in the United States. To be selected is the highest honor an ensemble can receive.
June 2017

Wind Symphony Band Places 4th in State
Congratulations to the 2016-2017 Highlander Band Wind Symphony and director Reagan Brumley for placing 4th in the State in the Honor Band Competition, the state championship for concert bands in Texas! To enter the competition, three selections, including one march and two symphonic works, are recorded and submitted.  Each selection submitted must be a continuous performance that was recorded at a concert, festival, or contest. All movements submitted of a multi-movement work must be from a continuous performance and performed in the order of the printed score.
At each level of the competition, five adjudicators that have no ties to the bands competing listen to the recordings without knowing the identity of the bands they are rating.  All adjudicators are either leading university conductors or high school directors with long track records of success at the state level.
Across the state, 82 bands advanced to the regional honor band competition. Out of those, 58 bands progressed to the area competition. Sixteen 5A bands were then selected to compete at the highest level for the state championship.  The Highlander Band ranked first place in its area.  

This is the first time in history that the Highlander Band has advanced to the state finals level in the Honor Band Competition. Congratulations to the Wind Symphony for such a significant accomplishment!

Highlander Band Announces 2017-2018 Drum Majors
The Highlander Band named Emma Brunk, Cameron Poe, and Sydney McDuffie as drum majors leading the 150-member band during the 2017-2018 school year. 

The drum majors began working with the band at the beginning of August to prepare to take the field at the first Highland Park Scots football game. To prepare, the drum majors attended the SASI Drum Major Camp at the University of Houston this summer, where Senior Sydney McDuffie won the Outstanding Conductor award.
June 2017

2017 Wind Symphony Advances to State Honor Band Competition!

For the first time in Highland Park history, the Highlander Band Wind Symphony advanced to the State 5A Honor Band Competition. Highland Park is one of only sixteen 5A bands advancing to the State Competition this year, after the Wind Symphony recording placed first in the 2017 Area D Honor Band Competition. 
Reagan Brumley, Director of Instrumental Music for HPISD, said, "I'm so proud of our band. These kids pushed SO hard to the end of the year and I am overwhelmingly proud of them. Doesn't hurt to work with the all-star staff of Will Parks, Jimmy LaBrecque, Lara Whitehouse, Tj Emsley, Cindi Sobering, and Danny Martinez!"
In Texas, the state is divided into 32 music regions which roll up to 8 areas. This year, 58 bands advanced from the Regional Competition to the Area Competition, and 16 bands now advance from the Area Competition to the State Competition. Highland Park is in Region 20, Area D. 

2017 Wind Symphony Advances to Area

Congratulations to the 2016-17 Wind Symphony and director Reagan Brumley on their selection to the Area Honor Band competition. On June 5, judges from around the state selected two bands, Highland Park and Waxahachie, to advance to the Class 5A Area competition. The selection was made on the basis of recordings made at UIL and recorded concerts.  
The other three Regions in our Area will each select up to two bands to advance to Area this week. At the Area competition, two bands will be selected for the Class 5A State competition against bands from the other seven Areas.  Wind Symphony

May 2017

Band Shines at State Solo and Ensemble Competition
Congratulations for the strong showing by a contingent of 25 band members who participated in the State Solo and Ensemble Competition on May 29. All participants earned First or Second Division ratings, which shows a consistent level of high performance that very few other bands can match.

Sophia BrinkmanPeter Davies, and Nathan Denman received individual First Division ratings (Gold Medal). 
The Flute Choir of Erin Harper, Sophie Jejurikar, Caroline Kibby, Jordan Meacham, Katelyn Porter, Ava Sims, Hailey Turco, and Elena Wang also received a First Division rating.

Noah Busbee, Bobby Lyle, Gillian Owsley, Allison Walters, and Grace Zhaoreceived individual Second Division ratings (Silver Medal). 
The Brass Quintet of Christina Bambach, William Cerny, Sydney McDuffie, Jackson Smith, and Allison Walters and the Saxophone Quartet, by Julie Herrick, Jinghan Yuan, Adam Davidson, and PJ Egenes also received Second Division ratings.

Special congratulations to Sophia Brinkman and Peter Davies, who earned Outstanding Performer Awards. Only two percent of the 25,000 band, choir, and orchestra entries at the state level receive this designation. Very impressive, Sophia and Peter!

January 2017

A record 62 Highlander Band students qualified for All Region in December, and they performed Friday, January 20 in the Region 20 All-Region Concert, Symphonic, and Honor bands at Duncanville High School. This is 40% of our students and a record number for the Highlander Band. In addition to this, our region is considered the most competitive in the State and arguably the country.

All-Region is an individual contest that requires each student to learn three advanced pieces of music and perform them for a blind judging panel, competing against other students from 5A and 6A schools in our region. 

Area Group

Of the All-Region students, 18 also earned an Area designation, which qualified them to audition for the TMEA All-State Band on January 7.

State Group

All-Area qualifiers include:

  • Sophia Brinkman
  • Michael Cochran
  • Cameron Coffey
  • Charlie Conner
  • Jonathan Davies
  • Peter Davies
  • Sarah Hong
  • Abby Justine
  • Maisey Martinez
  • Sydney McDuffie
  • Benjamin Olness
  • Gillian Owsley
  • Aaron Pathak
  • Jackson Smith
  • Madison Triplett
  • Allison Walters
  • Jinghan Yuan
  • Grace Zhao


November, 2016

All Region Orchestra


A record seven Highlander Band students earned chairs in the All-Region Orchestra in November. The band students competed for a spot in the orchestra at Duncanville High School in early November and performed in a full symphony concert on Saturday, November 12th at Conrad High School in Dallas. 

Band students selected to perform in the All-Region Orchestra are: Sophia Brinkman, flute; Peter Davies, oboe; Jonathan Davies, clarinet; Allison Walters, trumpet; Madison Triplett, bassoon, Cameron Coffey, percussion; and Grace Zhao, oboe.





The Highlander Band wrapped up its competitive marching season at the US Bands Season Finale Contest in Midlothian on Saturday, November 5, 2016. The Highlander Band won Best in Class and second overall in the preliminary competition. They also took home the Class Caption Awards for Best Music, Best Overall Effect, Best Percussion, and Best Visuals in prelims. In finals, The Highlander Band performed in Class VI, competing against bands with 70 to 130 more performers on the field. The band placed third overall, being edged out of second place by a tenth of a point. The Highlander Band also earned the Caption Award for Best Percussion in finals. This last performance of “Daydreams of Winter” was the band's very best performance of the season, and they walked away from the competition knowing they’d given their all on the field.

The Highlander Band participated in the most rigorous competitions in the history of the band this season. Their unprecedented success was due in large part to the artistic creativity, constant motivation, and dedication to excellence by their instructors: Reagan Brumley, Corey Parks, James LaBrecque, Danny Martinez, and TJ Emsley. We have the best band staff in the country!

Competition Collage


October, 2016

Drum Dance

The Highlander Band celebrated its 24 members of the senior class on October 28th during halftime of the last home football game at Highlander Stadium. The honored seniors, wearing traditional Scottish kilts, were escorted by their families on the field where they were individually introduced during the special ceremony. Following the introductions, Senior Woodwind Captain Kaitlyn Rowland performed the traditional Highlander Band drum dance as Senior Bagpiper and Clarinet Section Leader Abby Justine played Scottish dance tunes on the bagpipes. The evening ended with the final home performance of the band’s 2016 marching show, “Daydreams of Winter.” 

MidlothianPlaid Line

 September 2016

Drum Line

National Merit


August, 2016

DMsDrum Majors: The Highlander Band Drum Majors - Head Drum Major Abigail Lindwall, Senior Drum Major Caroline Kibby and Junior Drum Major Sydney McDuffie won the following awards at the University of Texas Drum Major Camp this summer:

Most Outstanding Drum Major Team - Caroline Kibby, Abigail Lindwall, and Sydney McDuffie

Outstanding Veteran Drum Major - Abigail Lindwall

Most Outstanding Rookie Drum Major - Caroline Kibby

Click here to read more.





PhilharmonicDallas Philharmonic: Three HPHS students have been accepted to the Greater Dallas Youth Orchestra (GDYO) Philharmonic: Allison Walters on trumpet, Peter Davies on oboe and William Cerny on cello. The Philharmonic, conducted by James Franks, is a full symphony orchestra, comprised of approximately 100 high school seniors or younger. Read more here




HP Percussion  Cameron Coffey's solo, "Bach Sonata in G Minor Fugue," placed fifth in the Senior Division, winning him a very cool stick bag with several mallet sets included. Click here for more details.


Highlander Band members earn State Solo and Ensemble honors. The contest featured woodwind and brass soloists and ensembles which received a Division 1 rating on a Class 1 selection at the All-Region Solo and Ensemble Contest in February. At the state contest, students who earned a Division 1 rating for a solo or ensemble received a gold medal and students who earned a Division II rating received a silver medal. 

Click here to see the list of awards.


Jazz Band gave a Swing, Swing, Swinging Spring Concert.


The Highlander Band was selected to play in Carnegie Hall on March 14th. Read the entire story here.


Winter Guard won their classification at their first contest of the year by an unheard of 5 points! This margin of victory coupled with their overall class championship last school year means they are now being promoted to the next level of competition, known as National A. Congratulations to all of our guard members!

PeterAn outstanding group of Highlander Band members represented our school and program at the All-Area Band Auditions. All of these students had a great showing in what is widely considered the most competitive Area audition in Texas. In addition, a Highlander Band member accomplished a nearly unheard of feat. Peter Davies, oboe, earned 2nd chair in the 6A All-State Band as a freshman. This is evidence of truly superlative musicianship! Read more about Peter here.

The students who competed at Area are: Jonathan Davies, Cameron Coffey, Matthew Houser, Miles Iola, Cole Morgan, Iva Sadler, and Allison Walters



All Region: Members of the Highlander Band competed in the annual All-Region Band auditions, the first round in the All-State Band process. The HP Band had another fantastic showing! We are incredibly proud of all of the students who tried out, regardless of placement. Below are the names of those who earned an All-Region position:


Senior Matthew West took First Place in the Lone Star Drum Line Competition held on November 14th. Matthew then took his performance to the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in San Antonio. This is the largest drum and percussion event in the world. Matthew won First Place with a composite score of 95.5. Congratulations, Matthew!

The Highlander Band earned unanimous First Division ratings at the UIL Region 20 Marching Contest in Duncanville on October 17th.

At the DeSoto Classic Marching Contest on October 10th, the Highlander Band took Fourth Place Overall. The Band won Best in Class in Auxiliary, Marching, Percussion, Winds, and General Effect. 

Read about the BBQ and Blue Out in the Park Cities People.

The Highlander Band took Second Place Overall at the Midlothean Marching Invitational Contest on October 3rd. The Band earned Best Marching Overall, Best Percussion Overall, and took Best in Class. Way to go, Band!


Four Highlander Band members named to the All-Region Jazz Band. Congratulations to Matthew Houser, Cole Morgan, Braden Wallace, and Matthew West for this honor.

The HP Drum Line placed First Overall in the AA Standstill Division I at the Plano Drum Line Competition on Saturday, September 26th. HP also won Outstanding Bass Line and Outstanding Snares at the competition.

Matthew West placed First for his Tenor Solo at the Plano Drum Line Competition. The solo is an original piece that Matthew composed. 


Reagan Brumley named President of TMEA Music for Region 20