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South Dakota marching bands compete in new ways during pandemic

Published: Sep. 22, 2020 at 6:55 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The field at Brandon Valley High School will look a lot different Saturday night as marching bands from around the area, who are still able to compete, will be here for the Big Sioux Review.

When Minnesota schools canceled their regional band competitions, South Dakota schools looked at how to adapt. At Brandon Valley High School, Laura Schenk is the Chairperson for the Big Sioux Review.

“We’re so thankful just to be able to put on an event in a year when so many others have been canceled. The kids from all of these schools have still put in the same amount of work, and so to be able to showcase it and have our parents have a chance to see the shows, it means a lot,” said Schenk.

Parents will be the only spectators this year and have limited time to stay.

“Each block, the parents that are going to be watching their band only get to watch that one block. So while they don’t get to see the whole show each block has a variety of performances,” said Schenk.

Brandon Valley is the host, so although their band will perform, they will not compete.

“I’m extremely proud of the students, we’ve, we’ve cut down our rehearsal time this year, drastically. But I feel like their level of achievement is on par with previous years,” said Brandon Valley Band Director Tyler Nettestad.

A total of 14 Bands from the region will compete, including Sioux Falls Washington High School.

“I just always associate fall with marching band. There’s nothing more exciting than being in the really chilly air with your uniform on under stadium lights and then just performing the best show that you can do. There’s nothing like it and that’s why we become directors,” said Kiley Coyne, Director of Bands at Washington High School.

Whenever the band is on the field, the experience teaches students that all of the hard work and effort can pay off.

“To finally put that on the field, it means a lot,” said Nettestad.

Another competition that’s still moving forward is in Sioux Falls October 3 at Howard Wood Field, the Festival of bands. Many local bands are now traveling to the Dutchmen Competition in Orange City Iowa on October 10th as well.

Copyright 2020 Dakota News Now. All rights reserved.

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