THS band’s marching season to culminate at Liberty Bowl
The Tonganoxie High School Marching Chieftains will complete a busy fall by participating in Saturday's Neewollah festival in Independence, Kan.
The band will participate in a parade and a marching festival, both of which will be rated by judges. Neewollah is Halloween spelled in reverse.
Last Saturday, the band participated in the Maple Leaf Festival parade on a soggy day in Baldwin.
"It was a little wet," director Charles VanMiddlesworth said with a laugh. "We marched in the rain. And I really thought the kids did a great job."
Last Wednesday, the group also traveled to Baldwin for the Baker Marching Festival, where the THS band received a 2 rating on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being the highest.
VanMiddlesworth said it was on the "high end of the 2's."
The THS director said many area bands competed at the Baker festival. Three judges rated the event by reaching consensus
"If any of our ratings are the same, then that's the rating we receive," VanMiddlesworth explained. Two judges gave Tonganoxie a 2, while a third rated the band as a 2-plus.
"It's what you would call an excellent rating," he said. "A 1 rating would be a superior rating. So the kids have everything to be proud about. They just played a well put-together show."
In fact, the Baldwin High band director told Van Middlesworth he was surprised THS didn't receive a 1 rating "because you guys have really come a long way," he told the THS director.
The band performed "Aztec Fire II" at the festival, the same halftime show it has performed at Tonganoxie High football games. The show features a trumpet solo by Kezia Huseman and a percussion solo.
"We just get to feature a lot of the sections of the band," VanMiddlesworth said.
During the football season, the band has performed only specific parts of its Latin show, but the band will perform the entire show this Thursday at halftime of the football season home finale against Jeff West.
After Thursday's show and Saturday's competition in Independence, the band will turn its attention solely to the Liberty Bowl, which will be Dec. 29 in Memphis, Tenn. The band will leave Dec. 27 and return Dec. 31.
The band has traveled to a bowl game every two years, beginning with the 2000 Cotton Bowl in Dallas, the 2002 Liberty Bowl and the 2004 Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. This year, the band will perform alongside Country artist LeAnn Rimes. In 2002, the group performed with Clint Black.
VanMiddlesworth said the band is on track to raise the necessary funds to venture to the bowl game. He said members will start their final fund-raiser Monday with the sale of Butterbraid frozen desserts. VanMiddlesworth said the food may be purchased through a band member. Anyone interested also may call VanMiddlesworth at the school at (913) 845-2654 for more information.