By Ammie Bryant, Photography by Clay Billman
On Saturday, October 14, 2017, the Stillwater High School Band competed at one of the toughest marching band competitions they will experience all year, the Renegade Review at Tulsa Union High School. Out of the seventeen competing bands, only seven were from Oklahoma. Competing bands traveled from Texas, Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas and included several bands that will go on to compete at the Grand National Championships in Indianapolis next month, as well as one former Grand National Champion.
Adding to the level of difficulty for the Marching Pioneers was their performance time. “When you perform early, it is difficult for the judges to know just how good the bands will be throughout the day, and how to compare you to other groups. Thankfully, the judging panel is well-qualified, and rewarded our students’ outstanding performance with solid scores that held up throughout the remainder of the competition,” said Stillwater High School Band Director Kevin Zamborsky. “Our students went into the week feeling good about their progress after winning their class for the first time ever last week at the Mustang Nightrider Invitational. They all knew it was a tough line-up, but they had a great performance in prelims.”
The Stillwater High School Band finished in third place in their class and 11th place overall after prelims. Zamborsky said, “Our finals show was much better, and we had great energy and crowd response. As a result, the band moved up to 8th place overall, increasing their score by over four points. That’s a big jump from prelims to finals. I’m very proud of our students and the work they’ve put into this season.”
Additionally, the Stillwater High School Band was recognized with the “Fan Favorite” award.
“It’s tough to think about the fact that we only have three more performances of this show, although we’re really hoping for a fourth! We perform next Tuesday the 24th at the OSSAA State Band Contest, Friday the 27th at our last home football game, and Saturday the 28th at the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association 6A State Championships. We’re hoping our performance at that last contest will earn us a position as a finalist once again, so we’ll get to perform that night,” said Zamborsky.