Continuing the tradition

The Buffalo High School band continued their tradition of excellence on Oct. 19 as they earned their 13th straight superior ratings at the Wyoming High School Activities Association State Marching Band Competition.

Excellence was bred in the Buffalo High School band long before this year’s freshmen were even out of diapers.

“I just spent the last hour talking about it with some of the kids, and I think that excellence has kind of become an expectation and a tradition that we have been keeping alive for 13 years now,” Band Director Jason Bennett said. “It’s just the way we operate – a commitment to excellence in everything we do.”

That commitment to musical and marching excellence was displayed yet again at the Casper Events Center during the Wyoming High School Activities Association State Marching Band Competition on Oct. 19 as the BHS band presented its 2019 show “Ice” to a packed auditorium. Buffalo High School was one of only 10 high schools in the state to receive the competition’s highest honor – a superior rating. A total of 21 high schools competed in the competition. Only three 3A schools, including BHS, received a superior rating this year.

The BHS band has received a superior rating every year since 2006, according to Bennett. But there was still something uniquely special about this year’s performance.

“It was hands down the cleanest marching and music I’ve seen from a Buffalo band in my years of band directing,” Bennett said. “Their focus and unity was the reason why it was so good. The senior class led the charge, but every single person contributed. They were one sound. One sight.”

The judges of the competition also praised the band’s music and marching, but noted that there was always room to improve.

“Most of the stuff they had for us to work on were things we are already working on,” Bennett said. “Things like phasing issues between the instruments. Sound delay is a real thing, so musicians at the back of the band have to start sooner than those in front so that there is one unified sound that hits the audience at the same time. So on top of the steps and the notes, the students also have to think about when they’re playing those notes. It is really a higher-level concept that we, and a lot of other bands in the state, haven’t quite grasped. But when that’s the kind of thing they’re bringing up, it shows that we are performing at this incredibly high level already.”

Bennett said that band members have been working on “Ice” since August and, throughout the process, never lost their focus on giving the best performance they could.

“It is really not about the score for us,” Bennett said. “It is not about winning captions or beating anybody. When you’re not focused on something like the score, it is easier to focus on what we can do to make the show better.”

In addition to their rating, each school received a numerical point score, Bennett said. But that number is going to remain a mystery – for now and always.

“I don’t know how we scored,” Bennett said. “I haven’t even opened the envelope. Every student gave their best on Saturday. And that is enough."

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