By Wendy Sweeter,
After hours and hours of practicing, the Lennox bands have wrapped up their competition seasons.
The high school band traveled to their final field competition Oct. 8 in Orange City, Iowa. They finished in third place in Class 3A and won best percussion and best drum majors awards.
At their first competition in Marshall, Minn., Sept. 17, they were third in the gold class. On Sept. 24, they competed in the Tri-State Band Festival in Luverne, Minn., and Big Sioux Review in Brandon. In Luverne, they were second and third in Brandon. They also received the People’s Choice Award at both of those contests.
“I think we’ve gotten People’s Choice maybe once or twice ever,” said high school marching band director Ellie Kenkel.
At the 35th annual Festival of Bands in Sioux Falls Oct. 1, the band received their highest score they have gotten in the last five years with a score of 75.6. They made it to the finals for the second time in school history. They ended up 10th and received the Spirit of the Festival Award.
“I don’t think people realize that is like making it to state, but it’s making it to state with all sizes of schools and other bands from Minnesota and Iowa,” she said. “They performed really well.”
High school band members started learning their music for the show, Spin, in June. The show was in memory of the tornado that hit the school and severely damaged the band room in August of 2021. They went to all-day band camp for the first two weeks of August and then practiced three times a week outside of band class during the school year.
“They’ve just put in a ton of hours for an 8-minute show. They worked their butts off,” Kenkel said.
She appreciates the hardworking group of kids they have in the high school band, which also includes eight eighth-graders who participated in both bands this fall. She is especially impressed with the senior band members.
“This is probably the most hardworking dedicated group that we’ve ever had. It’s really nice to teach students who know the meaning of hard work and the meaning of grit and just being good students and good people who take critiques and get better,” she said.
The junior high band performed in three parades this fall with homecoming being their first performance. At the Beresford contest, they finished second in the middle school band division and also received best percussion and best winds. In Chester, the 64-member band also placed second.
Since they did not have marching band in 2020 due to Covid, marching was new last year for both the seventh- and eighth-graders.
“This year it’s fun to see the eighth-graders take a leadership role and help out the seventh-graders a little bit and rally their sections together,” said junior high marching band director Tyler Youngquist. “They made really big improvements over the year.”
Junior high band members prepared for the season with two days of junior high mini band camp in August and rehearsals during class time.
“We’ve got some talented kids,” Youngquist said.
The junior high and high school bands will perform their shows at the indoor marching band concert at 7 p.m. in the high school Oct. 15. A ticketed chicken dinner will be served from 5:30-7 p.m.
The high school band will perform their field show for the last time on Oct. 20 after the football game for their lights out show. Band members will be decorated in lights and glow sticks while the field lights are turned off.