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The two high schools representing The Donna Independent School District each received superior ratings at the 74th Annual Pigskin Jubilee held Saturday, Oct. 22 at the Bennie La Prade Stadium in Donna.

Donna High School and Donna North High School each earned Division I ratings, which is the highest honor for a band to achieve.

Pigskin is a highly regarded annual marching contest with a long tradition in the Rio Grande Valley. This year it was hosted in Donna. In all, 17 Valley high school bands from 5A schools and below participated. Family and friends packed the stands and watched the bands each perform an eight-minute presentation that included colorful uniforms and spectacular moves.

The two Donna bands put on a show called “Music on the Reservation/The UIL Marching Festival.” Donna High’s  was “Masquerade”. Donna North’s theme was “Once Upon a Dream”. 

The principals of each campus were in awe of their band’s performances.

“It’s a legacy that Donna High School has had for over 20 years, so it was not a surprise,” Donna High School Principal Nancy Castillo said. “The students are always put under pressure to make sure they continue the legacy, so it was all their hard work and dedication and of course the parents allowing us the opportunity to have them on the field and here early so that they can be at their best performance.”

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“Our students and staff, at Donna North High School, are committed to excellence,” Donna North High School Principal Belinda Vega said. The Rising Chief’s band’s performance at the 74th Annual Pigskin Jubilee was stellar which is why we were awarded Division I by each of the judges on Saturday night. We applaud their tireless efforts to ensure the best showcase each time they perform.”

The band directors for both schools are ecstatic as well.

Raul Ramirez represents the Mighty Redskin Band. “It’s always a wonderful feeling you know keeping the tradition alive. This is number 19, my 11th year here so keeping this Division I streak going is a dream,” Ramirez said. “Students know that the Mighty Redskin Band is a family. The passion they have, it really isn’t hard for us. It’s already been instilled by the previous band directors. We just kind of take the baton and run with it and these kids do a beautiful thing.”

Adrian Robledo represents the Rising Chiefs’ Band. “We’re extremely proud of the students,” Robledo said. “We basically have to start from square one where students have to learn the music, all the movements and in some cases we have kids that have never done it before because they’re freshman so this is an incredible accomplishment that the students themselves were able to rise to such a high level of performance. We push them to the limit as far as what they do in the field and they’ve done an amazing job.”

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