Jun 16

“Owatonnia” Is Ours In 2013

By Ken Tracy

AwardsAs I think about how Saturday, June 15th 2013 happened I am amazed at the day that the 728 Cadets Marching Band has had. All 94 students arrived for the buses at RHS by the 6:30am call time. We boarded and the Chaperones did a nose count to be sure we had everyone. We also loaded the parents and staff that were there to help through the day. This however is not a typical day since we were doing a double header including the Harry Wenger Marching Band Festival in Owatonna, Minnesota in the morning and then the Lake Waconia Band Festival in Waconia Minnesota later in the evening.

The Head Director is Tom Gallus, who for the past 5 seasons has developed the inspiration and the shows each season. His staff is made up of the Musical Director, Mike Reed, Drumline Director, Joe Jaeger and Color Guard Director, Sarah Gallus, Assistant Color Guard Director, Jared Peterson.

The Theme for this year is “A Simple Gift” and is a story about the Tin Man receiving his heart. The music is “Chorale and Shaker Dance” by John Zdechlik who wrote the piece.

Both Parades provide a street for warm up and rehearsal before the event begins. Each town receives 12 to 14 Marching Bands from across the state. There are three classes A, AA and AAA and 728 Cadets compete in AAA. With each unit averaging 75+ players and color guard, the logistics to prepare each marching unit and be ready for the parade on time is a well choreographed effort including parents and staff who support the kids so they can concentrate on the music and movement of the show.

The Harry Wenger Band Festival begins at 11:00am sharp. The 728 Cadets were 11th in line to compete. There are 3 “Play” areas along the route and the final is the Judging area on Main Street downtown Owatonna. At each “Play” area were area residents, parents and supporters of the bands and also many interested folks from across the state who show up for the excitement of competitive marching band events. Our shows went well at each area and the crowds really seemed to enjoy the music and the show that goes into each performance.

After each unit completes in the parade they meet up at the buses and shed their uniforms and costumes to go to the Central Park get fed and await the awards ceremony. Owatonna has a very nice stage and setting for their awards and all of the competing units, parents and directors are there for them. See a complete listing of all of the awards.

The 728 Cadets this year won the following awards and captions for the Harry Wenger Marching Band festival.

•    Best Color Guard
•    Best Drumline
•    Best Marching and Maneuvering

•    1st Place (AAA)
•    Grand Champion

Other caption awards that we missed were Best Hornline won by the Waconia Marching Jays and Best Drum Major won by the Mankato 77 Lancers.

The rain fortunately held off until this part of the day as we and many of the other bands loaded up on their buses and headed for the Lake Waconia Band Festival. Upon arrival the sun was out for the first time of the day. We set up and started to practice and rehearse for the parade. The kids were feeling good and everyone was still excited by our morning at Owatonna.

At Lake Waconia there were 14 bands in competition. The class AAA included 4 bands: Mankato 77 Lancers, Litchfield Marching Dragons, 728 Cadets and the Park-Center Marching Pirates. Each of these bands has the capability to win and the competitive nature of the bands at Waconia is always very high.

At this parade there are 3 “Play” areas as there are at Owatonna. The second “Play” area is Judged and when we arrived as the 11th band the Cadets came to give the audience and judges a great show, an they did. As we left the Judging area the Announcer even said the 728 Cadets “set the bar very high for today’s parade”, a compliment we really appreciated. We marched through to the final “Play” area and gave another great performance to the crowd. It was on to stow the instruments and get out of uniforms and costumes, get a hot dog and on to the awards in the Stadium located behind Bayview Elementary School.

The stands were full and it was standing room only since there were so many bands, parents, directors and other spectators ready to see who would win not only the Caption Awards, Place Awards, People’s Choice Award, and the Grand Champion award; but also the coveted “Owatonnia” award for the overall point total between Owatonna and Waconia. As the Drum Majors marched into position of presentation to the crowd I personally was very excited and a little apprehensive as last year we were disappointed after a similar morning in Owatonna.

The Awards won by the 728 Cadets Marching Band at the Lake Waconia Marching Band Festival is as follows (AAA):

•    Best Drumline
•    Best Hornline

•    1st Place (AAA)
•    People’s Choice
•    Grand Champion
•    “Owatonnia” Award

Park Center won the Best Color Guard caption award.

To say that the 728 Cadets were shocked at the awards and the day is an understatement. Elation and joy filled each and every one who was with us when the awards were announced. Smiles and pride were on everyone’s faces for an amazing ride that lasted from 6:30am call to 9:30pm awards. View full results.

The 728 Cadets want to thank all of the parents for supporting us since we cannot do this without your help. In the coming weeks we have more parades and of course the Vikingland Band festival in Alexandria Minnesota on Sunday, June 30th 2013 to be ready for. For updated scheduling for all events and rehearsals for this season just click the link here. We want to see all parents and family at as many parades as you can attend to support us but to see this amazing show we are performing.

We’ll see you on the parade route and thank you again.