Platte County High School’s Pirate Pride Band continued a growing tradition in the early part of competition season.
For the third consecutive year, the group earned the title of grand champion in Missouri Western State University’s Tournament of Champions on Tuesday, Oct. 10 in St. Joseph, Mo. There were 27 bands in the 32nd annual event, and Platte County finished first in the Class 4A division and posted the highest overall score, beating out competition from Raymore-Peculiar, Liberty, North Kansas City and Blue Springs South.
In addition to the overall title, Platte County earned top percussion honors, while Charlene Field took home the outstanding soloist award for her work on marimba.
The grand champion title came three days after the Pride Band opened the season with a first place in the Silver Division of the Lee’s Summit North Invitational in Lee’s Summit, Mo. Platte County also took awards for best visual production, best general effect, outstanding percussion and best musical effect.
This past weekend, Platte County traveled to Columbia, Mo. for the Champion of Champions Marching Festival on the campus of the University of Missouri. The Pride Band won its preliminary round against competition spanning three classes and then ended up seventh overall.
“The students have worked really hard so far this season, and it’s paying off from them,” Platte County High School director of bands Jay Jones said. “I tell them if they come off the field proud of their performance, nothing else really matters because it is those feeling that they will take with them long after the season ends. As we enter the final two weeks of the season, our focus will be addressing those things which still need some polishing, so that the final run at the Festival of Champions will represent the full extent of the journey we have made together.”
The Pride Band’s show for this competition season is entitled “West of the Rainbow,” about 9 minutes in length and based on the movie Wizard of Oz. The two competitions remaining on the schedule are Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Odessa Invitational and Saturday, Oct. 28 in Warrensburg, Mo.
The Pride Band includes more than 100 students. The auditioned group rehearses each morning at 6:30 a.m.
Drum majors this year are senior Audrey Puntney, junior John Salehi and sophomore Arianna Saad.