Awards and praise keep pouring in for the Lakota East and Lakota West marching bands, both in their 20th seasons.
East’s band is 210 members strong, up 30 from last year. Their halftime and competition show entitled “The World Outside My Window” (based on Peter Pan’s Wendy and her journey of adventure and love) won Grand Champion honors in their first competition of the year. At the Hilliard Bradley Invitational in September, the band qualified for state and earned a superior rating. The band’s goal for the recent Bands of America Regional in Dayton was to make the finals and, for the second year in a row, they did.
Soon, the band heads to OSU for the Buckeye Invitational at ‘The Horseshoe’, and the following week they travel to St. Louis to perform against 65 bands from around the country in the Bands of America Super Regional at ‘The Dome’. “It’s a year of great venues”, said East Band Director Rob Tanis.
What are the goals for these upcoming competitions? “We’ve already achieved many of our goals, but our real goal is just to do better than we did the last time,” said Tanis. “If the kids are having fun, playing their best and working hard, they are going to like what happens.”
Lakota West Band Director Andrew Carr agrees. “Our biggest goal this year was to raise the level of performance for our group, particularly in the area of visual performance. The students have worked very hard through some challenging weather conditions to perform at the highest level I have seen here at Lakota West.”
The theme of their halftime/competition show is “Bloom” and features many flower-related effects including 13 – 8-foot umbrellas painted to look like flowers. The guard also has uniforms that open up into sunflowers halfway through the show.
The 222-member West marching band is exceeding expectations in every way. In their very first weekend, they performed at two contests and were named champion of every possible caption and award. On October 1, West attended the Bands of America Regional Championship in Toledo for the first time in 10 years, and was honored to perform in the evening finals performance. There are several competitions remaining, including the OMEA state contest at Hilliard Bradley at the end of October.
Both Tanis and Carr are grateful for the support they receive from parents and administrators. Examples include the efforts of East parents to build nine 12-foot windows that actually open and move around the field to help tell the story of Wendy from Peter Pan. And West volunteers who accompanied the band for their trip to Toledo went almost 24 hours without sleep, logging over 20,000 steps on their pedometers while loading and unloading the truck four times.