MHS marching band ends season strongGroup places second in Sioux Falls, first in class in Iowa.
By: Candy DenOuden, The Daily Republic
Mitchell High School’s marching band won high honors Saturday at its last two competitions of the year.
MHS Band Director Ryan Stahle said the band competed first in the Quad State Marching Competition at Vermillion in the DakotaDome.
Out of 17 bands from four states, MHS received the second-highest score. It finished second, overall and in Class 3A, to O’Gorman High School. Other bands in Class 3A included Brandon Valley, Huron and Yankton.
Though he said MHS won its class in 2010, it did not place as highly overall as it did this year.
“This was the band’s best overall score at this competition since they started competing here,” Stahle said. “We placed higher than some incredibly good bands here today.
“When you can hang with bands with 30-year runs of excellence, it makes you realize that we are starting that historic run ourselves.”
But the day wasn’t over yet.
The MHS band next traveled to Orange City, Iowa, to compete in the Dutchmen Field Championships.
MHS took first place in Class 3A and posted the fourth-highest overall score out of 20 bands in all the classes.
MHS also received the best color guard award — its fourth such award this year. This year’s student field conductors are Joe Morgan, Ellen Kenkel and Kendra Zirpel.
“The kids really stepped it up once we entered the competition season this year,” Stahle said.
Despite having 32 new students this year, Stahle said the band worked especially hard to be competitive.
“We kind of felt this would be a rebuilding year, and after about the second home football game, they really turned things on,” he said. “It was a very good year.”