Gasconade County R-1 Director of Bands Benjamin C. Sachs has provided the Advertiser-Courier with his reaction to a very successful year of competition by his high school band members:

1. Explain how many band competitions there typically are during a normal school year. What has the pandemic done to that schedule?

We have typically been traveling to four marching competitions during a "normal" school year.  This year almost all of the festivals across the state were cancelled due to covid restrictions.  We were very fortunate to have three that were still in-person (with many social distancing restrictions).  There were several festivals where they changed the format to a virtual competition - bands submit videos of their performances by a certain date, the full panel of judges judge the videos, and they live stream the awards for all to watch.  We signed up for four of these this year in addition to our three in-person festivals, for a total of seven.  

2. How have your band students adjusted to the challenges of the pandemic? Have there been any disappointments because of the virus?

We have had to make lots of adjustments this season.  Our drill on the field is more spread out than usual to accommodate the 6' rule.  We are warming up more spread out, practicing more spread out, no communal water jugs, and had to take multiple busses so the kids could spread out.  We had a few waves of quarantines that held us back early season, but we finished strong.  The school has done a great job of helping us make accommodations to keep students safe.  

3. Can you provide a list of all the competitions the band has entered so far this school year, their placement, and where they were held?

Sullivan Marching Festival - September 19

 - First Place in Class

 - Outstanding Percussion

 - Outstanding Colorguard

 - 4th Place Overall in all classes (7 bands total)

Wright City Marching Festival - September 26

 - Indoor Percussion First Place in Class

 - Overall Indoor Percussion Grand Champion

 - Indoor Colorguard First Place in Class

 - Indoor Colorguard Overall Grand Champion

Field Show

 - First Place in Class

 - Outstanding Music

 - Outstanding Visual

 - Outstanding Percussion

 - Outstanding Colorguard

 - 3rd Place overall in all classes (11 bands total)

Scotland County Virtual Marching Festival - October 3

 - Indoor Percussion First Place in all classes

 - Indoor Colorguard First Place in all classes

 Field Show

 - First Place in Class

 - Outstanding Percussion 

 - Outstanding Colorguard

 - First Place overall in all classes (10 bands total)

Potosi Bi-State Marching Invitational - October 10

Field Show

 - Outstanding Music

 - Outstanding Visual

 - Outstanding Colorguard

 - Outstanding Percussion

 - 1st Place in Class - 2nd Place Overall in all classes (9 bands total)

Trenton Missouri Days Marching Festival - October 17 

 - Indoor Guard - Class 3 - 1st Place 

 - Indoor Percussion - Class 3 - 1st Place

 - Field Competition - Class 3 - 1st Place

(11 bands total)

Southern Boone Marching Festival - October 17

 - Indoor Colorguard 1st Place

 - Indoor Percussion 1st Place

Field Competition

 - 1st Place in Class

 - Outstanding Colorguard

 - Outstanding Percussion

 - 2nd Place Overall (6 bands total)

 

UCM Virtual Festival of Champions - October 17

 - Indoor Guard - Class AA - 2nd Place

 - Indoor Percussion - Class AA - 1st Place

 - Field Competition - Class AA - 1st Place

 - Overall Results - 2nd Runner Up (3rd Place) overall out of 56 competitive field show bands

4. What are your other thoughts on how well the band has progressed and developed this year? What are the overall attributes they demonstrate that have helped them along the way?

The group we have this year is fantastic.  They have come so far since day one, and have continued to push all season even despite the stress and changes of our procedures.  We are not concerned with beating other bands, we are concerned with being the absolute best version of the Hermann Band we can be (and the trophies are a nice reward for that).  Attention to detail is something that I push hard with the students - every horn angle has to be exactly the same, every heel has to hit the ground at the exact same time from person to person, every note must line up with the drum major's hands.  These are the traits of a good marching band, be it 20 members or 200.  I am excited to see them continue to progress this year in concert and jazz band.  

5. Anything else you care to mention?

I would like to thank the music boosters for their continued support, both financially and through man-power.  We simply could not function without them.  I would also like to thank everyone who donated to our recent online campaign and Fundraiser Night at the Downtown Deli.  Your support goes straight back to these fantastic students, and I can't thank you enough.  

 

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