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MHS marching band ends season on high note

The Mitchell High School Marching Band competes Saturday at the Dutchmen Field Championship in Orange City, Iowa. (Photo courtesy of Kelly Little Bear)

Mitchell High School’s marching band won first in its class and multiple other awards Saturday at the Dutchmen Field Championship in Orange City, Iowa.

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MHS Director of Bands Ryan Stahle said the school won first in the Class 3A division, which also consisted of Le Mars, Iowa, Spirit Lake, Iowa, and Madison. The school also received eighth place overall of the 25 bands that competed.

In addition to winning its class, the MHS marching band won awards for the best horn line, best color guard and best field commanders (drum majors).

MHS also won the Pizza Ranch spirit award, which Stahle said goes to the group with the best attitudes — fans included.

“It was a good day,” Stahle said. “This was last competition of the year. It turned out well.”

Stahle believed this was the third or the fourth consecutive year for MHS to win its class at the Iowa competition, and said it was nice to end the competition season on a high note.

“It’s never a guarantee,” he said. “We were expecting to do well, just because the kids have been performing really well. Our placings haven’t been as good as we’ve wanted them to be.

“In this area of the country, it’s saturated with really, really good marching bands,” he said.

The marching band’s first competition was the Pursuit of Excellence Marching Band Competition in Marshall, Minn., on Sept. 21, where MHS took fifth place in its class.

The following weekend, MHS went to the Tri-State Band Festival in Laverne, Minn., and the Big Sioux Review in Brandon.

Stahle said the marching band took third in its class at Laverne and fourth in its class at Brandon.

On Oct. 5, Stahle said the marching band traveled to Columbus, Neb., where the competition is judged a little bit differently — bands can receive a superior, excellent or good rating. Stahle said MHS not only received a superior rating, but was the highest-overall rated team to compete.

“We had a great weekend last weekend,” he said.

To close out the year, Stahle said the marching band will have its indoor show at 7 p.m. on Oct. 22 at the Corn Palace.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $4 for students and $14 for families, and are available at the door. All tickets are general admission.

The marching band’s final performance of the season will be two days later on Oct. 24 as part of senior night, during the Mitchell Kernels’ home football game.