MARSHALL - They pulled up in front of Marshall High School on Sunday with a fire truck in the lead, and a trail of honking car horns behind. As members of the Marshall Tiger Marching Band stepped off the buses, a crowd of orange-clad supporters started to cheer.
Band members said the support, and a first-place ranking in a nationally-known band competition, was the perfect way to end a season.
"It just put us right where we want to be," said Isac Evenson, an MHS student and senior trombone captain in the marching band.
Photos by Cindy Votruba
Beth and Mike Soupir were among the crowd to welcome home the Marshall High School Marching Band Sunday evening after its success at the Band of America competition this weekend in St. Louis. The marching band placed first in Class A. The Soupirs were waiting for their daughter, Kendra, a member of the band.
The Marshall Tiger Marching Band took first place among Class A schools at the Bands of America Super Regional Championship competition Friday and Saturday in St. Louis, Mo.
It's the first time Marshall has achieved that honor, said band director Wayne Ivers.
"They're pretty proud, and they should be," Ivers said of the students. "They performed really well, and we're really happy."
The Bands of America competition featured marching bands from 60 schools, in an area reaching from Michigan and Minnesota south to Texas. Competitors were divided into four classes by school enrollment size, Ivers said.
Bands performed in the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis. However, some band members said it wasn't too intimidating to be in the stadium.
"For our performance on Saturday, we were scheduled for 8:30 in the morning," so the stands weren't too full yet, said low brass captain Maggie Roy. "But there were a lot of Marshall people there."
There was also a lot of camaraderie among the bands at the event.
"There were people from Eden Prairie and Rosemount there who cheered for us. The Minnesota bands supported each other," Ivers said.
One of the high points of the trip, of course, was when the final awards were announced. When Marshall got first place, Roy said, "Everyone jumped out of their seats."
"It was really exciting," Evenson said. "We were just kind of hoping for the best."
Evenson said being able to go out on such a high point was even more meaningful for this year's seniors.
It took a lot of hard work to make Saturday's ranking possible, Ivers said, but a competition as big as the BOA was a good way to put that work to the test.
"Our big thing was, you can't control the outcome, but you can control your performance," he said. "We really tried to take things up a notch."
"It feels really good, to be able to get that kind of acknowledgment nationally," Roy said.