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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • WAC Band Festival returns to Dodge City

  • The Western Athletic Conference Band Festival will return to Dodge City on Tuesday for the first time in four years.      "Our big goal for being the host is to be as warm and welcoming as possible," said Erica Lindberg, DCHS marching band director. "We want it to be a very fair playing g...
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  •     The Western Athletic Conference Band Festival will return to Dodge City on Tuesday for the first time in four years. 
        "Our big goal for being the host is to be as warm and welcoming as possible," said Erica Lindberg, DCHS marching band director. "We want it to be a very fair playing ground for all the schools involved."
        Great Bend, Hays, Liberal, Holcomb, Scott City and Garden City High School marching bands will join The Pride of Southwest Kansas to perform at Memorial Stadium. Great Bend's marching band will kick off the festival with a performance at 5:45 p.m. As the host school, DCHS will perform last at 7:15 p.m.
        Lindberg said the WAC festival is where all the band's hard work this year will pay off.
        "It's harvest for us," she said.
        Lindberg said the band has improved and risen to the occasion, as the level of difficulty in its routines has increased significantly each year. The band's 2006 routine had 30 sets, last year it had 40 and this year it has 60.
        "They have kept up very well and been very persistent and diligent in making this come together," Lindberg said.
        The current routine, "Relive the Legend," is a contemporary western performance that pays homage to Dodge City's history and the western way of life.
        A portion of "Relive the Legend" has been performed at DCHS home football games, but never in full. The full-length version of the performance includes four tunes, spanning 10 minutes. It features wood, wind, brass and percussion solos, as well as a solo by the color guard.
        A working ranch will be portrayed as the marching band and color guard synchronize their movements and incorporate props.
     An 18-piece fence will be in pieces at the start of the performance. While the band plays, the color guard will move the pieces to construct a corral, which the band will utilize in its creative formation pattern.
        Five marching band experts from around the state will critique each squad on is drumline, color guard, music performance, marching and maneuvering, and general effect.
        Each school will receive a final rating and advice for how to improve in the future.
        Craig Harms, a creative consultant for bands across the country, will also critique each marching band's overall performance. Harms, a DCHS graduate, was a member of the school's marching band under the direction of his late father, Harold Harms. Craig also wrote the marching drill routine for the DCHS band.
        The Pride of Southwest Kansas will also perform today in a marching festival at Kansas State University with about 40 other schools. 
        Lindberg said today's performance will give her students the opportunity to fine-tune their performance before Tuesday. She said hearing judges' critiques has a positive effect on the kids and gives them a new perspective on their routine.
    Page 2 of 2 -     "This is the first year in a while that we're going to three festivals," Lindberg said. "With the amount of time we put in for practices, we wanted to perform it again at home."
        For $1 admission, people can enjoy seven performances Tuesday night and support the DCHS marching band. 
        The band's will next travel to Andover, where it will perform at the Southern Plains Festival on Oct. 29. The band's final performance for the season will be Oct. 31, when the DCHS football team takes on Garden City.
        Reach Cherise Forno at (620) 408-9931 or e-mail her at cherise.forno@dodgeglobe.com.

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