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MHS marching band wins final competition of season

Mitchell High School's marching band competes in the USBands Quad State Field Marching Competition on Saturday in the DakotaDome in Vermillion. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Stahle)1 / 3
Mitchell High School's marching band competes in the USBands Quad State Field Marching Competition on Saturday in the DakotaDome in Vermillion. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Stahle)2 / 3
Mitchell High School's marching band competes in the USBands Quad State Field Marching Competition on Saturday in the DakotaDome in Vermillion. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Stahle)3 / 3

VERMILLION—Mitchell High School's marching band ended the season with a win, marking possibly the best season in the band's history.

MHS director of bands Ryan Stahle said the marching band brought home an armful of awards from the USBands Quad State Field Marching Competition on Saturday, including the Cadets Award of Excellence in open class. Stahle said the Cadets Award means Mitchell's marching band was chosen as the best show out of all the classes. He said there were roughly 26 bands in five classes at the competition, which was held at the DakotaDome on the University of South Dakota's campus in Vermillion.

Stahle said it's a "really interesting show," which has won the equivalent of people's choice awards at other competitions this season.

"It's been kind of a crowd favorite wherever we've gone," he said.

MHS also won first place in its class on Saturday, along with awards for best music, best color guard, best visual program and best overall effect.

As the band's last competition of the season, Saturday capped what has been a strong season.

Stahle said the band has won first place in three out of five competitions, and he said the marching band received an overall score of 89.5 out of 100 on Saturday—its highest score ever.

"This kind of went down as the high school marching band's best season ever," he said.

Stahle said it's not the first time MHS has been to Vermillion to compete, but it is the first time the marching band has been back since USBands took over the competition. According to its website, USBands serves as a competitive circuit for scholastic band programs nationwide, and "prides itself in providing world-class performance venues and the best adjudication in the marching arts to tens of thousands of students each year."

Stahle credited the students for the band's success this year, noting that they worked especially hard to keep improving.

"They work hard every year, but this year they kept pushing themselves right to the very end," he said.

Their goal, he said, was to peak at the end of the season—and they did.

"Every performance, they got better and better," he said. "It's been a great year; it's been a lot of fun."

Though done competing for the season, Stahle said the marching band's final performance for the season will be its annual indoor show on Nov. 2 at the Corn Palace.