ACHS Marching Band has successful season

The Arkansas City High Marching Band was awarded good ratings following competition.

Courtesy photo

The Arkansas City High School Marching band recently completed a busy and successful fall season. In addition to performing at four home football games, numerous pep rallies and local parades, the band competed in four marching band competitions around the state. In Kansas, there is no set way for marching band competitions to be run and rated, so each is a little different. 

October 4, the band traveled to Emporia State University for their first competition. Despite very adverse weather conditions, the band performed well — just barely missing a 1 rating to earn a 2 rating overall. At Emporia, awards were given for various captions and Ark City was recognized as having the outstanding Color Guard at the competition. 

On October 7, the band participated in the Central States Marching Band Festival in Manhattan. Central States is the largest festival in the region, featuring 40 bands from 4 states. The Bulldog band learned much from their experience at Emporia and showed great improvement in a short amount of time, earning a 1 rating from all judges. There were no caption awards at this event. 

October 10, the band participated in the Mound of Sound Marching Band Festival at Southwestern College. This festival was rated, ranked and awarded caption awards. ACHS earned a 1 rating from all the judges, earned first place in their school size and earned third place overall behind two much larger Oklahoma schools. The Color Guard, once again, earned top honors. 

As always, the band concluded its season with the Arkalalah Festival. Our Bulldogs earned all 1 ratings in the big parade and earned all 1+ ratings in the field show competition. Additionally, the color guard earned a 1 rating at their indoor competition. 

The event concluded with the popular light show. Despite the cold temperatures, the band put on a spectacular show for a large and appreciative audience. 

According to band director Chris VanGilder: “This was a great fall, one of the best we have ever had! The students worked very hard and continued to show improvement right up to the very last performance. We had outstanding student leadership and a great level of commitment from all the band members.” 

ACHS Band Directors are Chris VanGilder and Hans Judd and Color Guard instructors are Kelli Waggoner and Emily Soule. This years drum majors are Katie DiVall and Beth Walker. Section leaders are: Abbey Legleiter, Blake Legleiter, Emily Sitsler, Esmeralda Castillo, Hayes Cannon, Jacey Arnett, Jacob Giger, Justin Phillips, Katerina Phouthavong, Kayla Waters, Lethander Flanigan, Neila Monroe, QiTao Weng, Zach Williams, Ashton Bannister and Maggie Krout.

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