MHS band hits the big stage

MARSHALL – The best of the best marching bands in the Upper Midwest gathered at the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis, Mo., this past weekend for the Bands of America Super Regionals.

Marshall High School more than proved it belonged.

The MHS marching band placed second in Class A preliminaries, behind only Tennessee’s Union City High School.

Competition began Friday; Marshall took the field Saturday afternoon, and band instructor Wayne Ivers came away more than pleased with his group’s performance.

“It was very exciting, he said. “I thought the kids were very well prepared, but you could really tell they were nervous. Musically, it was probably the best they’ve done all year. I’m really happy with the kids; they did everything we asked of them.”

MHS was the fifth-to-the-last group to perform Saturday, which meant the stadium was packed more than it normally would’ve been – not just with spectators, but with hundreds of performers who had filed in to wait for the finalists to be announced.

“We were late in the preliminaries – there were just four bands after us, then the finals were announced, so all the band kids were in the stadium and we had just a huge audience,” said Ivers. “The home side of the stadium was packed.”

Ivers said the group ran a little behind schedule Saturday so had to hurry to get everything together to keep up with a strict timeline. That, plus having to park in what Ivers called the “world’s largest mud puddle,” added some extra anxiety to the afternoon.

“We got to the stadium late and it had been raining in St. Louis,” he said. “The parking lot was a dirt one, so they ended up changing in a mud puddle – they had to be very careful with the equipment and uniforms and that created a little more nervousness than usual. The parking lot was just pea-soup mud. So they went inside and they were wiping off shoes, getting mud off the uniforms. It added a little more stress for them.”

Ivers said band members were happy with their performance when they came off the field.

“It was a good way to end the season,” he said. “They performed well and represented Marshall really well.”