Small Band Makes Top 10 In Big Contest! Crimson Cadets At Broken Arrow Invitational

This entry is part 8 of 8 in the series Collinsville Crimson Cadets

The Collinsville Crimson Cadets are at the peak of their marching season. After learning step-by-step and note-by-note, they are now competing in huge band contests. On Saturday, October 7, the Cadets competed in the 2017 Broken Arrow Invitational Marching Band Contest. The contest is very popular for larger bands around the southwest region of the US, and bands came from all over the southern states to compete . Collinsville was certainly the smallest band at the competition, but that did not rule them out just yet. To get a better picture of the band sizes: the Crimson Cadets have roughly 100 members in their marching band, but several of the bands they were competing against had numbers ranging between 300-500 members, and some even more.

A band competition will start with the preliminaries. Each band will perform while the judges take notes and watch their every move and hear their every sound. A slight misstep or dropped flag could seriously hurt the overall ratings of the band, but in preliminaries the judging is a tad lighter. These judges are placed on the field (allowed to walk through and around the bands as they perform), in the stands, and up in the press box. They take verbal recorded notes on everything they see, good or bad. Since the Cadets were so much smaller, their simple mistakes were more prominent.

Austin Marler, drumline section leader, stated that being a small band could also be an advantage. “As a smaller band we can easier, and more quickly, fix our mistakes before a judge notices it. Our recovery will always be smoother and a lot better.”

In the preliminaries, Collinsville had to make top 13 to qualify for finals. Collinsville brought a big crowd with them, which added motivation to drive the Cadets towards a spectacular performance. After all the bands performed, Collinsville was told they had qualified for finals.

In the finals, the 13 bands would again perform again.. The finals were much later into the evening, but the bright stadium added to the overall effect of the performances (but sadly, bad lighting for photos). Collinsville was the third band to perform in the finals. The judges were much more critical in this round, but Collinsville got an even better rating than in the preliminaries. After their performance, everyone was proud of the way the Cadets had performed their show entitled “Wild.”

Head band director, Rod Mackey said, “It was the best performance I had ever seen in my short time directing at Collinsville so far.”

After the final performance had finished, all bands were lined up in the middle of the field, which is a tradition called “massing”. Then, the winners were announced, going from 13th down to 1st. Many fans and Cadets knew how hard it would be to even get to 12th place because of their size, and top ten just seemed impossible with the size and unlimited funds of their competitors. To Collinsville’s shock and amazement, he Crimson Cadets took 9th place overall. Collinsville was presented with a large trophy for their success in the contest. The Cadets large fan-base was louder than ever.

After this huge success for the Cadets, they still work towards improving their show. Every detail or kink in the show had to be worked out because the next contest would be the biggest of the year. After Fall Break, the CHS band travels to St. Louis to compete in Bands of America. The contests will more than likely feature many of the same bands they faced in BA, but because of the reputation of this contest, there will also be some even larger bands. Nevertheless, the Collinsville Crimson Cadets continue to show much success for their 2017 marching season. Talented members are seen through every section of the band. The marching band works harder than ever towards what could be their most successful marching season in a long while.

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Devyn Lyon

Collinsville High School Senior, Class of 2018, Cross Country Captain and Cardinal Connection Staff Editor

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