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Plattsmouth earns superior award at Bennington

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Plattsmouth senior marching band musicians

Plattsmouth senior musicians are helping the marching band earn major awards this fall. The Blue Devils secured a superior rating at the Bennington Marching Invitational on Saturday. Front row from left, Gracie Stonner, Gracie Herron, Taylor Hardesty, Symone Reid, Soren Doty, Lance Morton, Rowan Wilson and Amber Nanke; second row, Christina Backer, Jaden Horner, Nate Colwell, Gabe Ham, Elizabeth Clifton and Wynter Hansen.

BENNINGTON – Plattsmouth marching band musicians created superior feelings on Saturday with their efforts at the Bennington Marching Invitational.

The Blue Devils captured a Division I rating at the outdoor show. The contest featured 15 bands from across central and eastern Nebraska. They showcased their musical skills during the morning and afternoon and took part in an awards ceremony after the final performance.

Judges evaluate marching bands in musical and visual categories for each show. They can give bands a maximum of 100 points for an overall score. Schools receive a superior (Division I) rating if they generate overall totals of 75-100 points.

Tina Harvey said she was pleased with the progress she has seen from the Blue Devils throughout the school year. Students are performing a show entitled “Gypsy Caravan” for audiences. Randall Standridge created the three-part show based on an opera entitled “Carmen” by French composer Georges Bizet.

“The band has worked hard this season to produce a full sound on the field and to work on our visual performance to really tell the story of the Gypsy Caravan,” said Harvey, who is the PHS band director. “The flagline costuming, gypsy hut props and crystal ball prop help with the imagery as the show unfolds. A highlight in the show happens in Part III when the entire band performs a dance using tambourine props.”

Four Plattsmouth students are performing solos in this year’s show. Kaia Shotkoski is playing a solo on her mellophone in Part I of Gypsy Caravan, and clarinet player Symone Reid and flute player Ava Thornton are producing solos in Part II. Trumpet soloist Samantha McKnight is displaying her talents in Part III.

Judges for the Bennington contest included Roger Thaden, Zac Konrad, Nick Spath, Rob Hartung and Andrea Kellett. They evaluated bands for musical and visual performances on both individual and ensemble levels. They also rated color guards for their work on the field.

Students from all 15 schools gathered in Bennington’s bleachers after the performances for the awards presentation. Plattsmouth musicians cheered when they learned they had earned a superior rating.

PHS drum majors Taylor Hardesty and Jayden Hamilton are leading the band this year. Hardesty, Reid and fellow seniors Gracie Stonner, Gracie Herron, Soren Doty, Lance Morton, Rowan Wilson, Amber Nanke, Christina Backer, Jaden Horner, Nate Colwell, Gabe Ham, Elizabeth Clifton and Wynter Hansen are helping the Blue Devils with their musical and color guard experience.

Harvey said the Blue Devils will have a chance to create superior feelings again this fall. Plattsmouth will compete in the Lincoln Public Schools Marching Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 16. PHS will perform at 12:15 p.m. at Seacrest Field in Lincoln. Twenty-three bands will take part in the festival.

Plattsmouth will return to Lincoln on Oct. 23 for the Nebraska State Bandmasters Association State Marching Festival. The contest will also take place at Seacrest Field.

“This show has the ability to transport the audience to a different time and place, and the hard work put in by the band members and staff have made it all possible,” Harvey said.

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