Will the Buffalo High School band rank superior for a 12th year in a row at this year’s state marching band competition on Oct. 13?
That is the question on everyone’s mind in the days leading up to the state competition, according to band director Jason Bennett. But Bennett doesn’t want his students thinking about that. He is much more interested in making sure their marching is in sync and their musicality is on point.
“There are a lot of moving parts in a marching band – 90 in this case,” Bennett said. “Each of our 90 students has an important part to play, and they’ve all had a lot of work to do. That doesn’t end, even though we’re in the final stretch. But we are becoming much more unified as a band, and I know every one of these students is going to give their all in the lead-up to state and in the competition itself.”
On Oct. 2, the BHS band performed in a marching exhibition in Worland, where it competed against Riverton, Worland and Cody. The exhibition is the last performance the band will give before state. While the exhibition performances were not ranked, the judges did provide feedback to each of the performing bands.
“The judges were really impressed with how well the students were expressing themselves musically and how well they did in a very complicated drill,” Bennett said. “We cover a lot of ground on the field during the show, and the judges were very impressed with how well we pulled it off.”
This year’s show is called “Stonehenge,” according to Bennett, and is focused on the passage of time.
“It depicts through music and movement how things change over time,” Bennett said. “Even things as solidly built as the structure of Stonehenge change over time.”
During the show, the band performs songs based on each of the four seasons, starting with winter and ending with fall. Throughout, the music has “a mysterious, creepy vibe,” Bennett said.
Both the music and movement in the show are quite challenging, Bennett said. While the band has been getting noticeably better, there is still some work to be done before the state competition.
“We need to keep working on the third song, which is the hardest one musically and drill wise, but also the one that we have been working on for the shortest amount of time,” Bennett said. “We need to make sure that we finish the show strong.”
While there is still work to do, Bennett said he was confident the band would deliver another top-tier performance.
“There has been a different vibe on the band this year – in a good way,” Bennett said. “There has been a much stronger sense of Bison pride and family and unity, and everybody has been pushing each other to get better. I’m really proud of their hard work and excited to see how they do at state.”
BHS is one of 21 marching bands from across the state that will compete in the Wyoming High School Activities Association State Marching Band Competition this year. The competition will start at 3 p.m. at the Casper Events Center, with the Buffalo band performing at 7:15 p.m.