Local bands marching in Fort Hays State festival

10/22/15 rr
HAYS, Kan. -- Fourteen Kansas marching bands will take the field for the High Plains Marching Festival on Oct. 26, at Fort Hays State University's Lewis Field Stadium.

Dr. Lane Weaver, assistant professor of music, coordinates the festival and directs the FHSU marching band. He said that the bands participating in the festival are diverse, ranging from large schools like Junction City and Liberal to small schools like Dighton.

"Some of the schools coming have eight-man football teams, yet they're able to march, which is amazing," said Weaver. "It shows other schools that small schools can do this, too."

High Plains provides a friendly atmosphere for small schools that want to nurture their marching programs. The festival is smaller and more intimate than the Kansas State University and University of Kansas marching band days, and allows small bands to become comfortable in festival settings before competing in larger ones.

The festival is also important for schools planning on restarting marching programs. High school bands from Hoisington, Plainville, Russell, and Stockton will come and watch with hopes of competing next year. Groups from Hays Middle School will also observe, preparing students to participate in high school band.

This year will be Rock Creek's first time competing in a festival. Director Nate Craft chose High Plains because other band directors spoke highly of it.

"Our band's good, but they need to see other bands and what they are doing," said Craft. "They don't know yet how disciplined other bands are, and seeing the Fort Hays State band perform will do that."

The FHSU band will give an exhibition performance before the awards ceremony, where the bands will receive their ratings. Six judges will rate the bands on music, general effect and marching. Percussion and auxiliary will also be judged, but they will not weigh into the rating. All bands will receive written and verbal comments.
The bands are scheduled to perform in order of size, as follows:
10:40 a.m. -- Dighton High School
11 a.m. -- Ellinwood High School
11:20 a.m. -- Ellsworth High School
11:40 a.m. -- Stanton County High School
noon -- Cimarron High School
12:40 p.m. -- Larned High School
1 p.m. -- Goodland High School
1:20 p.m. -- Concordia High School
1:40 p.m. Rock Creek High School
2 p.m. -- Hays High School
2:40 p.m. -- Ulysses High School
3:00 p.m. -- Nickerson High School
3:20 p.m. -- Junction City High School
3:40 p.m. -- Liberal High School
4 p.m. -- Fort Hays State University (exhibition)
4:15 p.m. -- Awards

General admission is $5 and $3 for students and seniors. For more information visit www.fhsu.edu/music-and-theatre/festivals-camps/HP-marching-festival/.

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