LHHS band at 2019 Red White Game

If you want to make it as a member of the award-winning Wildcat marching band, you’ll have to work all summer to master music for competition, take your place on the parking lot practice field before 7 a.m. each morning, and march the team’s intricate choreography under Friday night lights.

Beginning this fall, you’ll also need a doctor’s permission.

New University Interscholastic League rules, which go into effect Aug. 1, require students in seventh, eighth, ninth and eleventh grades to see a doctor for a physical before participating in marching band activities. Musicians in tenth and twelfth grades must turn in a medical history form.

“The physicals can open up ways to help our students in ways we didn’t know before,” Pine Tree band director Aaron Turner told the Longview News-Journal. “Marching band is no longer just get out there and walk up and down the field a couple of times. It’s truly an athletic endeavor.”

Physicals have long been required for UIL athletes, and Houston ISD has required them for marching band students since 2015.

“Our biggest concern is dehydration in the heat,” Austin cardiologist Michael Liu told television station KXAN. “If you get too far behind in your fluids, you can have dizziness, fainting, cramping and in extreme cases you can have heat exhaustion or heat stroke.”

Your first chance to see the LHHS marching band at Wildcat Stadium is at the first official home game Sept. 13 against Haltom. You can view the full football schedule here.