DHS marching band celebrates successful year
The De Soto High School band program has dominated this year.
At least that’s what senior John Buery said of the band’s performance in the Baker and Andover Marching Band competitions, as well as individual performances in the Kansas Music Educators Association honor band, where a fourth of the band is made up of DHS students.
“We’ve dominated this year,” John said. “We had two big marching festivals at Baker and Andover. We dominated at Baker, and we did really well at Andover. It’s a good way to go out as seniors.”
The band hopes to continue their success when it hosts the DHS Band Extravaganza from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Mill Creek Middle School.
The pre-holiday extravaganza isn’t quite a carnival, but it isn’t far from it either, said Dan Freeman, DHS band instructor.
The extravaganza is another way the band is raising funds to finance a trip in March to Chicago.
From crafts, food, photos with Santa Claus and a garage sale, the group hopes to raise nearly $10,000 to pay for transportation, Freeman said.
Parents, staff and community members have donated gently used items, including televisions, movies, furniture and more to the band’s garage sale.
A variety of local vendors will hold a craft fair at the extravaganza.
Freeman said there will be representatives from Pampered Chef and Mary Kay among booths.
Children can partake in crafts such as ornament making or enjoy the moonwalk, while parents shop the garage sale.
Chris Cakes will hold a breakfast from 8 to 10:30 a.m. After a bar-be-que lunch will be available.
Every two years the band takes a trip. In 2008, the band went to San Antonio, said senior Austin Hinchey.
On this year’s trip the band will take part in a music clinic at Northwestern University and play at the Field Museum of Natural History, Austin said.
The six-day trip includes sight-seeing adventures to a medieval restaurant, the Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) and a performance of the Blue Man Group.
Austin said he is looking forward to getting a different point of view on the bands performance during the music clinic.
“It’ll be cool to see what music professors have to say,” he said.
Andy Rhodes, senior, said he was also looking forward to the music clinic and the trip to see the Blue Man Group.
“It’s cool to get different experiences with the band than just staying in Kansas,” he said of the trip.
Preparing for the trip has taken some time. The band sponsored a golf tournament, run concession stands with the Cat Boosters and hosted dinner nights to raise money.
“We try to mix up the fundraising so that every student can get involved,” Freeman said.
The $560 price tag per student for the trip covers hotel, travel and food expenses. Freeman expects 100 to 105 students to attend the trip.
Money from the group’s fundraisers is deducted from monthly payments the students make.
John said the band couldn’t take all the credit for such a successful year.
“Mr. Freeman has done a really good job the past two years,” he said. “He’s awesome. I think some people were a little standoffish when he first game but he’s done an excellent job.”