Flag Corps member Lexi Diveley works on a routine as the band prepares for the State Show. It was a rare moment with a little sunshine on an otherwise cloudy, rainy and very windy day.

VS percussion members are captured in the reflection of Lauren Upmeyer’s drum during warm-ups for Saturday’s performance.

The success of the Benton County area’s three Class 3A high school bands continued at the 2017 Iowa High School Music Association State Marching Band Festival on Saturday where the Vinton-Shellsburg Marching Band Regiment earned its 12th consecutive Division 1 “Superior” rating.

Vinton-Shellsburg’s neighbors also did well. The Benton Community Marching Bobcats earned their 11th consecutive Division 1 rating, and the Center Point-Urbana Marching Band earned its fifth consecutive Division 1 rating.

Weather was a factor, with rain falling intermittently on the musicians, and a very strong wind that harassed all of the performers all day long. A few berets and shakos became separated from the heads they were covering, and found themselves rolling across the turf at Kingston Stadium.

The flag corps members faced the toughest challenge because of the wind.

VS Color Guard coach Danni Manning and the squad worked to revise their routine to account for the strong winds, and found a strategy that worked well enough to earn recognition from the judges.

“Our color guard got the best individual score on the day,” says VSHS Band Director Nick Waymire. “Danni did a great job of preparing them and adjusting their routine.”
Mr. Waymire congratulated the band for their success, and praised them for their hard work and overcoming the weather.

“The Viking Regiment had their best performance of the year this afternoon, and on top of that, the weather (mostly) cooperated aside from some heavy wind,” he said. “With a score of 71.3, the Viking Regiment earned their 12th consecutive Division 1 rating. Congratulations to the students for their hard work and dedication. You earned it.”

“West Side Story” was the theme of the CPU band’s show.

CPU parents earn “Gold”

In addition to the CPU band earning a Division 1, the band received another honor. The parent volunteers who help set up the props and equipment and move and change the displays throughout the show earned Gold medals for their work.

“The band progressed very quickly this year and our first competition was already a month ago in Mt. Pleasant,” says Co-Director Dan Jacobi. ” This gave the students several weeks to clean, polish, change, add to the show. Our marching and music execution scores are really high, as are the percussion scores.”
Last week the band earned 4th place at Five Seasons Invitational.
“This was the band’s highest finish in school history as well as the highest point total for the band,” Jacobi says. “We finish up this weekend at the Music on the Mississippi Invitational at Clinton High School.  Our performance time is 7:45 p.m.”

Benton competes twice on Saturday, earning first place at Muscatine

The Marching Bobcat’s show theme is “The Seasons,” and their show included a variety of songs representing spring, summer, fall winter, from “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” to Christmas music. The band earned another Division 1 Rating, its 11th in a row.

The Benton band’s routine included songs representing all four seasons.

After finishing their work in Cedar Rapids the Marching Bobcats and their parents loaded up the trailers and busses to travel to Muscatine, where they won the Muskie Invitational band event with a score of 82.8.

See more photos of the three local bands performing at State by clicking the links below:


Benton Community

Center Point-Urbana