Band receives two rating at Bonner Springs Marching Festival

Mill Valley joins 10 other schools in the marching festival on Thursday, Sept. 29

Tricia Drumm, Mill Valley News editor-in-chief

Blue Band members and color guard arrived at Bonner Springs High School on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 29 to participate in the Bonner Springs Marching Festival. In the end, color guard was awarded a one rating, band was given a two and the drum line earned a three. The highest rating possible was a one.

Senior drum line leader Spencer Smith felt that the drum line deserved the average score it was given.

“The drum line still needed a lot of work because the bass drum runs weren’t right, and also the cymbals, when we were marching, were missing their step-offs,” Smith said. “Honestly, I kind of feel some responsibility because I’m the section leader, and I should have motivated them to learn.”

This year, the band performed a series of three movements called “Brass Attack” which included songs such as “In The Stone” by Earth, Wind & Fire and “Hard To Say I’m Sorry” by Chicago. Where the vocals would have been in “Hard To Say I’m Sorry,” senior Parker Billings performed a trumpet solo.

In general, the band members were content with the rating they were presented.

“I wouldn’t have been surprised [if the band had gotten a three], but I still would have been a little frustrated with it,” senior drum major Kasey Meeks said. “I think we’re happy with a two just because we know we have a lot of things to work on and that we can do better.”

After the band performed at the marching festival, the band, color guard and drum line received critiques from Kansas State band director Dr. Frank Tracz and later worked with K-State band members to improve aspects of their performance. When the workshop was over, Smith wasn’t satisfied with the critiques the drum line received.

“I think that if they were going to give [the drum line] a three, they should have given us more tips to improve,” Smith said. “He made it seem like we did fine, but then he gave us a three, so we were kind of surprised.”

While Smith didn’t find the commentaries helpful, Meeks saw Tracz’s critiques as a basis for improvement for the band.

“We just finished learning [movement one] last week, so we’ve only had two or three rehearsals with that movement done and together,” Meeks said. “I think this clinic kind of inspired us because Tracz is a really good leader and is really inspiring. So, hopefully the band is taking that and they’re going to use it in rehearsal so we can get better.”

The next band competition is Wednesday, Sept. 5 at the Emporia State Marching Festival.

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