Varsity band marches through state

For many, it was the last time that they would step out onto the field and for other it was the first. State was settled in the minds of all varsity marching band members. This year, the band fought for a highly respected 2nd place overall and 1st in marching and percussion.

At Buell Stadium each fall, there is a different type of competition held other than football. The state tournament for marching band fills the stands as schools from across Nebraska compete for the top spot.

Although it is possible for any team to enter themselves, competing in the state marching band competition exemplifies the overall performance of any team throughout the season. This year, MN marching band had an eventful performance at state due to all of their practice beforehand.

Band Director Mr. Ryan Placek led his mass of students through practice before state like he would any other day.

“We usually start with a physical and musical warm up and have some cardio and fundamental warm ups in there as well,” Placek said.

On the day of state, nerves skyrocketed as the band members, and adult staff members alike, frantically tried to prepare for the final performance of the season. In the state competition, there is only one chance to make an impression for the judges to base the score off of.

“When they announced us and we started coming onto the field, it was really loud and I got goosebumps, knowing that the crowd was so excited to hear our performance,” Placek said.

Senior Mady Monahan, who has been apart of band for 4 years, says that the most intimidating thing about state is in fact the performance.

“At normal competitions we perform twice but at state it’s only once. So you really have to do your best,” Monahan said.

The scoring at state is done a bit differently than other activities. There are multiple categories, and only a fraction of them includes visual effect and music performance as well as the separately graded percussion and color guard performances.

MN’s performance caused the judges to award them with second overall and best percussion and visual. State consists of 17 or more teams, and MN competed in this contest against schools such as Bellevue West, Millard West, Burke, and Papio South.

There are 3 sites for state, although the only place that gives out places and awards is the competition in Omaha at Buell. The other tournaments that are apart of state are held in Lincoln and Kearney. There, it is more of a festival and bands are only given ratings.

State marching band isn’t all about the uptight, precise marching. It can be more relaxed, and emotions don’t run so high. After a lengthy season of numerous competitions, it all culminated into a performance at state that will stick to the minds of all involved.

“Just the atmosphere is great, this is everything that we have worked for,” Senior Hunter Holoubek said. “Just walking off the field and knowing that we did the best we ever did was great.”