A world of fun in marching band


Photo courtesy Josh Calkin/Facebook

The Pride of Wayne State Marching Band performed at NSBA in Lincoln on Saturday and spent Sunday at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City to tie up a “super” marching season.

Lauren Deisley, Lifestyles Editor

It’s that time of year again. The Nebraska State Bandmaster’s Association (NSBA) State Marching Band competition took place in Lincoln on Saturday.

For the third year in a row, the Pride of Wayne State performed as one of the two exhibition bands for the competition.

The theme for this year was superheroes and the band has definitely had quite a “super” year.

“I really enjoyed it, I’ve never marched before and it was a cool experience,” Natalie Boyce, sophomore clarinet player, said. “I thought the crowd definitely enjoyed the show.”

The performance at NSBA is the largest and most important of the year, as it stands as a large recruiting platform for the band.

“Our performance was a blast,” senior drum major Meghan Taylor said. “It’s really great to perform for a group of people who live and breathe band; it’s a completely different atmosphere from performing at our home football games.”

In the three years since the band began performing at NSBA, the size has increased dramatically.

“This is the biggest the band has been in the 18 years I’ve been here,” Dr. Dave Bohnert, Director of Bands, said to the band at the beginning of the marching season.

The 115-member marching band has worked hard to pull together a show with much more complex music than previous years.

The band proved that it does more than just perform by taking a trip to Kansas City for a day at Worlds of Fun.

“Going to Worlds of Fun was a great way to spend my last band trip ever,” Taylor said. “It’s always a good time bonding with fellow musicians.”

Meghan Taylor and Jerod Kohler, the two drum majors, are both student teaching next fall, which makes this their last marching season.

“The band is one of the main reasons I chose to continue studying music when I transferred to Wayne,” senior drum major Jerod Kohler said. “Being a member of this group has been one of my favorite parts of college.”

After the performance on Saturday, the band hopped on their two charter buses, grabbed a quick meal at the mall and hit the road for KC.

On Sunday, the massive band swarmed the “haunted” gates of Worlds of Fun just as the park opened.

Because it’s nearing Halloween, the amusement park was themed for the occasion.
Skeletons, pumpkins, spider webs and gore lined the pathways and Halloween-themed music played from the speakers.

The park became a playground for the hard-working marching band.

“I think the trip was a great stress relief for a lot of students who needed it,” Taylor said. “Plus, it’s nice to see them outside the music building for once.”

The entire day was dedicated to the fun and adrenalin the amusement park offered.

The students split into their own groups, hopping on exciting rides and going through haunted houses.

One group of five went through the Vampire-themed house and one student claimed an actor bit her in the neck going through.

Perhaps one of the most exciting moments for the band was seeing their directors, Doctors Bohnert, Josh Calkin and Karl Kolbeck, strapped into the “Ripcord.”

It is essentially a large bungee cord that the three were swung by almost a hundred feet… like a giant playground swing, only much more frightening.

When it was time to make the almost six-hour trip back home, one of the charter buses broke down and the departure time was delayed by close to two hours.

Despite the late arrival home, spirits were high while the band worked together to unload all of the equipment and put away the uniforms and hats, showing that they’re a team no matter how tired and grumpy they get.

The Pride of Wayne State has one more performance for the final home football game on Nov. 8.

All in all, it was a successful and fun-filled marching season with many ups and downs.

“The trip was worth it,” Boyce said. “I really got to know and bond with members of my band family in ways you can’t while marching on a football field.”