Thousands of Students Participate in 31st Annual Festival of Bands

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- September to October is marching band season and Saturday one of midwest’s largest marching band events made its way through Downtown Sioux Falls.
It’s the the 31st annual Festival of Bands where marching band students from across South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota And Nebraska show off their skills.

“Marching bands spend July and August and September practicing everyday out on their school field so they can spend September and October traveling to competitions,” said Sandy Frentz, Marching Band Liaison.

Thirty-five bands and around four thousand students are in competition mode ready to win the parade or field competitions, but not O’Gorman High School.

Since they host the festival,  along with Washington, Lincoln, And Roosevelt High Schools, students from O’Gorman don’t get to compete. However, they still get to play.

So for them, this is all about the performance.

“It is fun and it’s cool to show off what we got,” said Luke Humke, Trumpet Section Leader for O’Gorman Marching Band.

This event is one of largest audiences many of the students will ever perform for.

“It has a big draw, a lot of faithful fans follow their high school bands,” said Frentz.

It brings in around eight to ten thousand people.

“It’s really nice to have big crowds like that in Sioux Falls so we get to practice a bit in front of a larger group of people,” said Kennedy Kappenman, Drum Major for O’Gorman Marching Band.

“It’s really exhilarating, you feel the excitement of the crowd and they all want you to do good which empowers you to do the best you can,” said Olivia Gulseth, Drum Major for O’Gorman Marching Band.

Many of the students are amazed by the amount of support.

“It’s really special because you get to see how Sioux Falls is such a nice community and are all so supportive and it’s just great to meet all these new people and I’m glad the community likes it,” said Gulseth.

The students hope by hosting this event they can expose others to the musical world of marching band.

“It’s a different kind of music that you can bring to the crowds and people who maybe don’t know exactly what marching bands is they can come see this and realize it’s a super cool also a lot of work but overall it’s just a blast to partake in,” said Kappenman.

Students also say they feel more relaxed at the event since they aren’t competing and are able to get a better look at their competitors for future competitions.


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