Band Day provides opportunities for bands from Kansas high schools to work with each other, K-State Marching Band


Spencer Bauman spent his 15th birthday playing trombone on Wagner Field in Snyder Family Stadium.

Bauman, a high-school freshman from Atchison, Kan., said the best part of his birthday was playing for his favorite team-K-State.

Twenty-six high-school bands traveled to Manhattan to participate in K-State’s annual Band Day.

The high-school bands marched in a parade from Aggieville to the Manhattan Town Center and performed with the K-State Marching Band during Saturday’s halftime.

Melanie Caster, senior in music education, said every high-school band worked with the marching band throughout the day.

“After the parade, they practice on the field with the K-State band,” Caster said. “After that, they watch the game and perform the halftime with us.”

During halftime, all bands performed a music with an “oldies” theme, ending with “Wildcat Victory.”

Frank Tracz, director of bands, said the day went well.

“I’ve been here for 15 years now,” Tracz said. “We’ve found a system, and now the bands coming in know what to expect and what to do. So believe it or not, everything runs pretty smoothly.”

Tracz said Band Day at K-State is a tradition.

“I’ve seen pictures from back in the ’50s of Band Day,” Tracz said.

Olivia Cody, eighth grader from Ellis, Kan., traveled 3 1/2 hours to perform on Band Day. Cody said she was excited to perform because this was her first Band Day.

Since Ellis High School’s high-school marching band has fewer members, junior-high school students also performed with the band, Cody said.

Aaron Edwards, band director from Atchison, Kan., said his 60-member band traveled 2 1/2 hours to perform. Edwards said the Atchison band receives a lot of support from its school district and community to come to K-State.

“The No. 1 reason to come is to get the kids out of the community and share their talents,” he said. “Another reason is they get to see so many other bands; of course they get to see the K?┬║State band play, but (they also see) so many bands that are on their same level.”