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The Wyoming High School State Marching Band Festival was its biggest yet this year

A marching band performs in the middle of an arena.
Ryan Loghry

Friends and family cheered for hundreds of Wyoming high school marching band students last Saturday, October 14th. Every year, the Wyoming High School marching band festival occurs in Casper at the Ford Wyoming Center. Students from all over the state travel to perform their halftime show for friends, family, and each other.

Brent Rose, director of the Kelly Walsh High School marching band and director of Fine Arts and Activities for the Wyoming High School Activities Association, which puts on the event, said it has grown over the past decade.

“In the last 10 years, we’ve gone from 12 bands to 22 bands [registered]. This year, we have 21 [that performed] because one couldn't make it. Just that alone shows that there’s more schools supporting the activity and kids that want to do the activity,” he said. “Twelve bands didn’t make for a very powerful day and a lot of fans. But now that we have 22 bands in attendance, the events center is very full, has a very good crowd, [and] it’s a good day.”

Students look forward to this event every year. Sara Loghry is a senior and head drum major at Kelly Walsh High School. Her favorite part about State Marching Band is to see other musicians from other schools that all share the same passion for music.

“It’s something really special to have everyone come together for a common goal within their own schools, but then get to see everyone come together for the common goal to improve marching band in Wyoming,” Loghry said.

Ryan Rose, a junior from Kelly Walsh who plays the euphonium, said the event creates positivity.

“Personally, I love performing. Getting out there and getting to put on a performance for everyone is exciting,” he said “I’ve played for two years and I’m excited to perform next year.”

And even though the event isn’t a competition, the bands received a rating for their performance, giving them guidance on where they can improve. To finish off the day, the University of Wyoming’s Western Thunder Marching Band performed for the students, as a glimpse into what marching in college could be like for them. State Marching Band takes place two weeks after the Troopers/WTMB Invite in Laramie, where the bands compete to see who is the best. Because there was a home football game in Laramie, this year’s invite took place in Cheyenne.

Originally from Casper, Wyoming, Taylor moved to Laramie, Wyoming in the fall of 2020. She is a fourth-year journalism major with a minor in jazz at the University of Wyoming. She has participated in many musical ensembles on campus, including the University of Wyoming Symphony Orchestra and the Western Thunder Marching Band. In her free time, she enjoys playing video games, watching cartoons, camping, and swimming.
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