Stillwater Marching Band Makes Finals at Owasso Invitational

The SHS Band's show theme this year is "Eighty-Eight," inspired by the keys of a piano. Photo by Rob Morriss

by Ammie Bryant

With two months of rehearsals and two public performances behind them, the 157-member Stillwater High School Marching Band competed at the Owasso Invitational Marching Contest on Sat., Sept. 28, 2019. This year’s show title, “Eighty-Eight,” references the keys on a piano. Each of the musical selections in the show features well-known classical and popular works that were originally composed for the piano including “Chopsticks,” “Fur Elise,” “Moonlight Sonata,” Billy Joel’s “Piano Man,” Elton John’s “Your Song,”  Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer,” Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy” from Peanuts, and George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

For an organization whose motto is “Everyone Counts,” the first contest is when students have the chance to perform before an audience of marching band enthusiasts and professionals. Stillwater Schools Director of Bands Kevin Zamborksy explained, “It’s great to get feedback from judges who are evaluating our students so that we can relay that to our students to help them improve.”

At Owasso, the Stillwater Marching Band placed second in their class in the preliminary round and qualified for finals where they placed ninth overall. “I thought the students did very well,” said Zamborsky. “It’s great to get them in that environment where they perform for a crowd that is there for the sole purpose of supporting the bands.”

The hard work will continue throughout the marching season as the band adds to and makes adjustments to their show, fine tuning it with daily rehearsals that begin two hours before the first bell of the school day. “We’re excited to take the feedback from the judges to help us move forward through the rest of the season,” said Zamborsky.

The Owasso Invitational was the first of five contests that the band will compete at this fall. At each contest, bands are judged on music performance, visual performance, and general effect. On Sat., Oct. 5th the Marching Pioneers will compete at the Mustang Nightrider Invitational.

The next opportunity for the community to see the band perform “Eighty-Eight” at Pioneer Stadium will be on Fri., Oct. 11 when Pioneer Football plays Choctaw.