Several regional high schools come to K-State for annual marching festival

The Dodge City High School Marching Band perform their show during the Central States Marching Festival in Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Oct. 15, 2016. (Nathan Jones | The Collegian)

K-State Bands hosted the 2018 Central States Marching Festival at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday. The day, though marked by storm clouds, chilly temperatures and a constant threat of thunderstorms, carried on after activity cancellations.

The annual festival invites high school marching bands from surrounding states to compete for rankings and critiques from nationally renowned judges. This year, some 40 high schools from Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska participated.

Each band receives video critique on repertoire, performance, coordination, auxiliaries, musical aspects and are then ranked as superior, excellent or good by the judges.

More than 200 volunteers connected to the Kansas State Marching Band arranged the festival, working at ticket booths or as security, visitor guides and parking monitors.

Maria Martin, sophomore in personal finance and tenor saxophone player for the K-State Marching Band, volunteered as a band guide for McPherson High School.

She said being a band guide is a great recruiting opportunity, because it is a “personal way” to make sure the “hardworking and friendly K-State attitude is portrayed.”

Martin attended the Central States Marching Festival for 13 years as a spectator and participated in high school before coming to Kansas State.

“It was so much fun,” Martin said. “Your audience was 20,000 people who knew what it took to be in marching band.”

The Pride of Wildcat Land performs each year as a way to close out the evening. This year, a highly anticipated medley from “The Greatest Showman” was planned, but weather conditions called for a cancellation of the performance.

The weather also brought on the cancellation of about 20 of the scheduled clinics. Many of the high schools still competed and received feedback.

Mallory Boone, sophomore in the K-State marching band, said that the cancellation made her and many other members feel “deflated” and it was “disappointing” because the preparation for “The Greatest Showman” was a huge endeavor by the band, requiring “intensive rehearsals.”

However, the band will have a final chance to perform the show at Saturday’s homecoming football game against Oklahoma State. Martin said she thinks it will be even better at the game because it gives them the time to add more “pizazz.”

“This show is supposed to show just how great K-State is at what they do,” Martin said. “It’s going to be intense and spectacular.”