By Kylie Stamper
The second annual Mound of Sound marching festival took place on Oct. 13 at Jantz Stadium. 1,100 middle and high school musicians from 14 schools competed in the festival. The festival was hosted at Southwestern College under the direction of Jeremy Kirk, Director of Bands and Percussion.
The competition is set up where schools receive a rating between 1 and 4 with 1 being the best and 4 being the lowest. Awards for Outstanding Drum Major, Outstanding Colorguard, Outstanding Percussion, Best in Class, Third Place, Second Place, and Grand Champion were presented at the end of the festival.
During the festival, the judges give feedback that the bands get to take with them. Matt Porter, music freshman, was one of the student helpers for the festival. He said, “The festival gives students a chance to go and show people what they have been putting all their work into and they get feedback from somebody that is not used to seeing them perform. It’s nice for them to get that opportunity.”
Students from the SC band, drumline, and theater helped fill festival roles such as warm-up field supervisors, staging managers, and main field supervisors. Kirk said, “The benefits that [this] provides for our students is a great educational opportunity. They get to witness the outstanding education that’s happening in Kansas and Oklahoma and to learn how to organize a large festival. For the Music Education majors, if they take over a program that hosts a festival, they can rely on the experience they had here to help them run a festival of their own. For non-majors, they get great leadership skills in working with other students and directors.”
The bands were separated by classes based on the size of the band. Class 1 included the bands with the smallest number of people and Class 4 included bands with 100 or more students. Dexter received Best in Class for Class 1, Riverton for Class 2, Ponca City for Class 3, and Enid for Class 4. Outstanding Drum Major went to Rose Hill, Enid claimed Outstanding Colorguard and Outstanding Percussion, Liberal came in third place, Ponca City came in second place, and the Grand Champion award went to Enid.
Overall the event was a huge success for only being in its second year. Kirk said, “I’ve already received numerous emails from directors stating how pleased they were with several aspects: the organization, the student workers, the comments that the judges made, the scoring systems, they were pleased with everything so it was a huge success. It’s a day that those kids will remember for a long time.”
Kylie Stamper is a junior majoring in communication. You can email her at email@example.com.