Top 10 for eight consecutive years

Bobcat Band Facebook photo: The Bobcat Band performs at the 32nd annual Festival of Bands USA.

The Bobcat Band competed in the region’s most prestigious marching arts event Oct. 5. Festival of Bands USA held its 32nd annual competition at Howard Wood stadium.

Having regained top 10 finalist status in 2012 after a 12-year absence, the Bobcat Band has continually been one of the state’s best bands in a field of up to 30 bands who compete on the first Saturday of October since 1987. They are vying to become one of 10 bands to perform in the evening show as a finalist.

After marching in the local Hobo Day parade, the Bobcats immediately got ready to head to their preliminary spot at Howard Wood in the afternoon. 

“Facing gale force winds, one gust recorded at 52 mph, according to NWS Sioux Falls office, the band stayed disciplined through it all. Pushing through adverse conditions, they did their best they could,” Director Ron Stary said. 

“Shaken a little from the wind, they performed every detail we rehearsed that week, from getting ready for a home football game, a very important local performance, to live marching in the Hobo Day parade plus their biggest regional event of the season,” Stary added. “They did it, made the cut for the finals performance and got a second chance to show everyone what type of show they had in them.”

Stary said there were lots of emotions after that finals run, “not only seniors as they face too many ‘lasts’ in their high school career, but everyone had felt the power of their best performance to-date. 

“It was an absolute rush getting to perform under the lights at such a great venue for marching bands. They proved to everyone they earned a finalist spot, plus riding to the top-three bronze medal position with the highest finish at FOB in recent band history.”

The Bobcats took second place in both music captions, second in percussion, and third overall, next to Brandon Valley and Marshall, Minnesota, bands. 

This weekend the Bobcats perform at Dutchmen Field Championships in Orange City, Iowa, and at the home football game Oct. 18. Their last contest is at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion on Oct. 19 at the Quad State Championships as returning sweepstakes winner.

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