WHS Marching Band ‘Superior’ at State Fest

Monday, October 23, 2017
Members of the Cherokee Washington High Marching Band perform under the direction of Drum Majors Alisanne Struck, left, and Nicole McLaughlin at last week’s State Band Fesrival Competition hosted by Sheldon.
Photo by Ramona Nitz

SHELDON - There was a chilly breeze blowing but the sun was shining as the Cherokee Washington High School Marching Band took the field in Sheldon last week for the State Marching Band Festival/Competition.

Orab Field played host to schools located in the North District 1, which is made up of schools in Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Dickinson, Ida, Lyon, O'Brien, Osceola, Plymouth, Sioux and Woodbury Counties.

Bands are classified into four classes. WHS competes in Class 2A (schools with an enrollment of 150-274 students in grades 9-12). Bands receive ratings from I (superior) to V (poor) and are judged on music and visual (general effect and execution), percussion and color guard.

Members of the Cherokee Washington High Marching Band Color Guard were tropical and entertaining at last week’s State Band Festival in Sheldon.
Photo by Ramona Nitz

This year's WHS Marching Band show was titled “Aloha,” and consisted of four lively numbers which left spectators feeling as though they had been whisked away to the tropics, especially during “Tribal Drums.” This piece featured not only the usual percussion section but many other members who put down their regular instruments and took up drumsticks to pound on their tribal drums (large plastic barrels).

For this very entertaining performance, the WHS Marching Band received a I rating-superior.

The band, under the direction of Joe Vannatta, has 63 members: 26 woodwinds, 13 brass, 7 field percussion and 9 concert percussion. The color guard has 6 members who are instructed by Tricia Langholdt-Vannatta, who is also their choreographer.

Rounding out the band are very able drum majors Alisanne Struck and Nicole McLaughlin.

The Washington High Percussion Section and others beat on their " tribal drums" at the festivsl in Sheldon.
Photo by Ramona Nitz

This was the last competition of the 2017 season. Other competitions took the band to Star Fest in Sioux City and to the Dutchman Field Competition in Orange City.

“I want to thank all of the Music Boosters and parents who assisted in getting the backdrops, the barrels and the pit percussion section on and off the field all season”, said Vannatta.

The WHS instrumental music program will soon begin preparing for the concert band and jazz band performance/competition season.

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