Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

October 31, 2013

3 bands heading to state finals

Western, Eastern and Lewis Cass will compete Saturday in Indy.

Three area high school bands are heading to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Saturday to compete in the Indiana State School Music Association state marching band competitions.

Western’s Marching Panthers, Eastern’s Comet Command and Lewis Cass’s Marching Kings all made it through the semi-state competition held last Saturday.

Western will be defending a 5-year winning streak, where they’ve cinched the champion title in the Class C competition. Since 1981, there’s only been four years the band hasn’t made it to the state finals. In total, the band has landed 13 state titles.

“We’ve had a very, very long string of great state performances,” said band director Brian Caldwell. “It’s an amazing testament to how hard the students and the parents work. This school really supports the arts, and without that, none of this could be possible.”

He said the 118 students in the band have been practicing their show called “Under the Desert Sun” every day for the last few weeks to gear up for the final performance.

“The students are very focused,” Caldwell said. “They know what they need to do to prepare, and they’re doing it. … We’re really striving to put on our best performance out on the field, and put some emotion into it.”

Western may have a stellar winning history, but it’s tough to beat Lewis Cass’s Marching Kings, who are preparing to perform in their 32nd consecutive state competition.

The band has placed in the top three every year since 2007 in the Class D category, and won first place in 2011. They received third place last year.

Alan Hinshaw, junior high band director and assistant band director for the high school, said band members seem excited about what they did at semi-state and what they could do Saturday.

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