By Traci Chapman
With a first-place overall finish and caption awards for visual and general effects, Mustang High School’s Nightriders marching band stole the show at its first contest of the year, the Sept. 29 Yukon Invitational.
Nightriders’ “Outside the Realm” is an arrangement of selections from composer Thomas Bergersen, “Big Giant Circles” – known to those who watch “Stranger Things” and The Truman Show’s “Truman Sleeps,” MHS director Ryan Edgmon said. The program – different from anything done by the band before – offered the Yukon audience a palette of color, movement and sound.
“We have an incredible team of nationally renowned designers that have a special program built for our kids,” Edgmon said. “We are totally excited – it is going to be a very bright year.”
This year’s marching band totals 260, up by about 30 members from the 2017 ensemble, the director said. That’s just a fraction of the high school’s total band program, which will top 423 during 2018 – up 75 members from last year and 150 the year before, Edgmon said.
“It’s so gratifying to know that we have a band program that calls to so many students and that we have kids who love band and get so much out of it,” he said. “We are very fortunate to have kids who show the kind of dedication and do the hard work they do to make this a reality.”
Up next for the band is Saturday’s Nightrider Invitational, a contest that allows members to step back a bit, as they will not compete but only perform in exhibition for the crowd. The band will return to competition in Broken Arrow Oct. 20 for the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association state contest, and the OSSAA state contest, set for Oct. 23 in Yukon. In November, the group will once again travel to Indianapolis for the Bands of America Grand Nationals, set for Nov. 7-10.