Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

November 4, 2012

Western takes 1st, Lewis Cass claims 3rd at band state finals

Indianapolis — Shouts and cheers could be heard down the tunnel leading away from Lucas Oil Stadium’s field. Band members hugged each other and applauded as their band director, Brian Caldwell, approached the group standing together in a circle.

Western High School won the Class C Indiana State School Music Association’s state marching band competition Saturday in Indianapolis. The band also claimed the annual $1,000 scholarship awarded by the Indiana Dairy Farmers to each of the four marching champions.

Going in to finals, Caldwell said the strengths of his band included experienced members, motivated and conscientious student leaders, dedicated parents and a supportive administration.

Principal Rick Davis said he was proud of the band and the representation for their school.  

Caldwell said it is the fifth consecutive win and the 13th win for the school in total.

“This is the icing on the cake for the kids,” Caldwell said. “This is the first time our school has had five consecutive wins.”

Also celebrating Saturday were the Lewis Cass Marching Kings, which nabbed a third-place finish in Class D.

The only high school band in the state to attend the competition for the 31st year in a row, Lewis Cass has placed in the top three every year since 2006 and won first place last year.

Their show titled “El Ano de Los Reyes,” which translates to “The Year of the Kings,” was special for many reasons.

“There is a lot of pressure, as a senior, but it has been good,” Kelsey Sullivan said. “This was the first day I left the field really happy.”

Dylan Claypool described the performance as bittersweet because he is a senior and because of Mike Clark’s memory.

Clark, the Marching Kings’ former band director, passed away Sept. 30 after a battle with cancer. Clark spent more than a decade at Lewis Cass and took the band to several state band competitions.

“I’ve missed him every day, but today has been especially difficult,” Claypool said.

Shaylee Sparks said the band has been wearing green bands on their shoulders and the staff have been wearing them around their arms.

“I look at it as his hand is touching our shoulders,” Sparks said. “I was nervous for the performance but I thought we did well.”

Sullivan agreed and said Clark had been on everyone’s minds.

Current band director Don Krug said band members were really focused.

“Today was our best performance,” Krug said. “They gave it their best and I think they were pleased with their performance.”

For Western, there was no disguising how pleased members were. After the award ceremony, Evan Carman, a senior on the marching band, said he was proud of the band.

“We had our best performance,” Carman said. “We worked for it and it paid off.”

Carmen said it was even more special because it was his senior-year performance.

Prior to the competition Saturday, Caldwell said a lot of their practices were inside and they were working to master the technical challenges while striving to communicate a high level of artistry.

The music they performed was professionally arranged by Don Barrett, an alumni of Western Band who now makes his living in Hollywood writing music for film and television, Caldwell said.

Caldwell said there is a pressure to keep winning after a band has won several times. He said now it seems a championship is expected and they will be letting everyone down if they don’t accomplish it. To overcome this, the members have worked very hard to consider their No. 1 opponent to be themselves, Caldwell said.

“Their mission is to out-perform what they did previously,” Caldwell said. “The satisfaction comes from approaching a flawless performance that successfully communicates artistic intent to the audience.”

When asked how his band members were feeling about the day, Caldwell simply smiled and pointed at the large group of marching band members hugging each other.

He turned and walked away to join them in celebration.


Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Mac talent show 01 lf Maconaquah students, alumni take the stage for 50th annual variety show

    BUNKER HILL - When students from Bunker Hill and Clay Township schools suddenly found themselves walking the same halls in the new Maconaquah High School, they needed something to rally around as they formed their new school identity. That's when Pow

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWS - KT041714 - Bunker Hill child neglect arrests - CLG - pic1 Miami Co. couple face charges of neglect after children found malnourished BUNKER HILL - Two Bunker Hill children have been placed in foster care after officials discovered they were living in a dilapidated house with no heat or running water and were exposed to dangerous amounts of lead. In relation to the case, police Mon

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Maconaquah School Corp. to add new preschool program PERU -- In an effort to meet the needs of Miami County's young children, Maconaquah School Corp. is set to expand its preschool programs next school year. The school district is starting a "Little Braves Academy" preschool program, in addition to its

    April 17, 2014

  • $3.27M grant will boost technical training at Ivy Tech Kokomo Ivy Tech Community College Kokomo Region just received a $3.27 million boost from the federal government to expand programs dedicated to preparing high school students for careers in industrial technology. Ivy Tech's Integrated Technology Education P

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS KT 041714 pic traveling diplomat Kokomo senior Craig Simon to be traveling diplomat The chance to travel the globe, earn college credits and get paid sounds too good to be true, but it's about to be reality for Kokomo High School senior Craig Simon. The Kokomo School Corp. board of education approved a recommendation Monday to make

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Plea deal filed in Kokomo murder-for-hire plot A Kokomo woman accused of plotting to kill her daughter's boyfriend pleaded guilty to a lesser charge Tuesday as part of a proposed plea deal. Police arrested Christy Shaffer, 41, in September on a conspiracy to commit murder charge after she alleged

    April 17, 2014

  • Tabitha Mitkus Heroin found in hotel room bust Kokomo police seized heroin, pills, cocaine and stolen property in an early morning, motel room bust. Tabitha B. Mitkus, 24, 2000 block of Pontiac Court, was arrested at Garden Inn, 4021 S. Lafountain St., after hotel staff reported suspicious activi

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • North split restrictions on Monday The Indiana Department of Transportation will restrict traffic at the single-lane ramp that connects U.S. 31 to southbound Ind. 931 on the north side of Kokomo — weather permitting — on Monday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Remedial repairs along the 200-

    April 16, 2014

  • BK rebuild 04 Peru restaurant B-K West rebuilding after tornado

    PERU -- B-K West is more than just a drive-in restaurant to its owner, J.D. Hann. It's a piece of his childhood, a historic Peru landmark, and it's his baby. "I grew up with this place," the 57-year-old Peru native said. "We used to walk the tracks o

    April 16, 2014 7 Photos

  • Congresswoman Susan Brooks backs manufacturing training efforts Congresswoman Susan Brooks' own personal manufacturing experience may have been limited to three months in a Kendallville caramel factory as a college student, but in her congressional roles, she's having an impact on the skills debate. In Kokomo Tue

    April 16, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Obama Hopeful on Ukraine, Will Watch Russians Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Raw: Pope Francis Performs Pre-easter Ritual Raw: Bulgarian Monastery Dyes 5000 Easter Eggs Diplomats Reach Deal to Ease Tensions in Ukraine U.S. Sending Nonlethal Aid to Ukraine Military Holder: Americans Stand With KC Mourners Obama Greets Wounded Warriors Malaysia Plane: Ocean Floor Images 'Very Clear' Sparks Fly With Derulo and Jordin on New Album Franco Leads Star-studded Broadway Cast Raw: Two Lucky Kids Get Ride in Popemobile Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later Sister of Slain MIT Officer Reflects on Bombing

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.