CHS band plays to runner-up finish

Commerce – In a competition featuring hundreds of Texas schools, the Commerce High School band finishes second in the State Farm Original Score Contest, earning $15,000 for their music/fine arts department.

The band's music video, titled Adventure!, received over 150 votes from Commerce citizens, which accounted for a third of their overall score.

The music's author, Jason Anthraper, tells KETR, "There's not enough thanks I think I could say that they deserve because the band, the community, the school; it went all the way up to the administration. The superintendent and all of them were really supportive of this whole project."

Anthraper continued, "There are a lot of different things the money could be used for and I'm happy that I could contribute to making the band go forward with using this money. Marching band, concert band, jazz band, there's a lot of different aspects that the money could be used for."

Band Director Monte Ashcraft says he'd like to use some of the money to purchase new instruments. The news comes at a time when Texas school districts need all the help they can get, with several making cuts due to the state budget crisis.

"This is pretty important because I was afraid that we might get some budget cuts and it's been a couple of years since we've been able to buy some new instruments," Ashcraft said."

Ashcraft was very complimentary of Anthraper for his efforts, and the entire band for their hard work.

Half of the band's music video shows the students performing the song, while the other half shows different parts of Texas. Students are seen playing instruments in a bluebonnet field, on the campus of A&M-Commerce, the high school band's practice field and you see video of the downtown Dallas skyline. The entire band helped in the creation of the video.

Commerce High School competed against schools in Class 1A, 2A and 3A for the prize, falling short only to first place Sanger High School, who will receive $25,000.

State Farm started the contest as a way to offer educators and students a unique, engaging and valuable Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) - based learning experience and award high school music programs for excellence in musical collaboration, creativity and performance.