The Oriole Pride Marching Band competed in five marching band competitions in four weekends this fall and ended the season with a win.
The 64-member high school band performed their 2023 show “Saddle Up” against schools from South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska.
“We had a lot of fun putting it together and going all out western. We had a cowboy showdown between Tyler Strasser and Carson Maxfield where they showed off lasso and rifle tricks, fought an all-out brawl (Carson won) and rode a bucking bronco (Tyler),” said Ellie Kenkel, high school marching band director. “We featured several students throughout the show on some very difficult solos - Jackson Anacker on alto sax, Tiegen Black on mellophone and the percussion section. We also had a giant line dance moment, tumbleweeds and saloon doors.”
They started the season in Marshall, Minn., at the Pursuit of Excellence. They competed against five other bands in Class A and received second place and won best color guard, best brass and best general effect.
On Sept. 23, they competed at the Tri-State Band Festival in Luverne, Minn., in the morning where they finished second place, best color guard and best drum majors. Later that day, they competed in Brandon at the Big Sioux Review where they placed third out of seven bands in their class.
At Festival of Bands in Sioux Falls, they placed third in Class AA and received best color guard against six other bands.
At their last competition, the high school band won first place in Class AAA against 10 other bands at the Dutchmen Field Championship in Orange City, Iowa. They also won best color guard, best percussion, best general effect and the Spirit of the Festival Award.
“I am so proud of all of their accomplishments this year, both in marching band and in all of their other activities. These students are juggling school, marching band, tennis, cross country, FFA, football, musical, volleyball, all-state choir, student council, work, etc. and they are working hard and excelling in all their activities. Not only that, but they are a joy to teach. Thank you, parents, for raising hard working, respectful human beings,” Kenkel said.
She noted that after dealing with a tornado a couple years ago, any challenge seems easy. Kenkel said the band students handle challengers very well. The band also had a lot of new faces this year.
“We graduated some strong senior leaders and had a huge freshmen class this year, so we were a young group overall. However, the current seniors and juniors stepped up and took ownership. I couldn’t have asked for a better student leadership team and work ethic from the entire band,” Kenkel said. “Another challenge we faced was the tough bands we competed against, especially the larger school districts like Harrisburg and Sioux Falls Jefferson, but our Lennox students held their own and scored very well throughout the entire season.”
Kenkel also thanked the band parents and band fans. Their final show is the Indoor Marching Band Show on Oct. 30 at 7p.m. in the high school gym. Tickets are $5 at the door.