he Platte County Band is celebrating yet another milestone this week. Last weekend, the band and color guard competed in the Northwest Missouri State University Homecoming Parade and Auxiliary competitions. This event has become a very rewarding tradition for the band. In 1999, the band won its first Grand Championship at Northwest. It was a day many remember well. “I remember sitting in the bleachers and hearing the band’s name called for the Grand Champion award and like most people sat there in shock” recalls band director Jay Jones. In 2000, the band won the award a second year in a row. Had the band been able to win the overall trophy in 2001, they would have retired the university’s top traveling trophy. However, Park Hill South narrowly defeated the band that year.
“It was one of the toughest moments we have ever had. The kids worked so hard, but Park Hill was just a little better. I told the kids that as long as they had done their best that was all I cared about. They were still winners in my eyes. We stood together at attention until our drum majors went over and saluted the Park Hill students. I always tell the kids we may win or we may lose, but we always do so with pride and dignity. I was very proud of the band that day, they represented themselves and the school with an unbelievable amount of maturity,” Jones concluded. In 2001, the band did win a Grand Championship at Missouri Western State College, but winning that top award “just wasn’t the same” students reflected.
After two years, the Northwest top award has once again returned to Platte County. On Saturday, Oct. 18, the band and color guard once again took home the university’s top award and the quest to retire the trophy has begun anew.
“I was very proud of our kids” commented Jones. “It had nothing to do with the fact that they won that day, but it had everything to do with how hard they worked to prepare for that day and the pride they took in the performance. A parent said to me, “they had a purpose, you could see it in their eyes.” I agreed.
Before winning the top prize, the band also won first place in class 3A and the color guard brought home their first ever best in class award.
“All in all, it was a great day. The thing that made it so great was the fact that we had so many people to share the experience with. We had a caravan of cars following us to Maryville. Former band kids, parents and family members all made the trip with us. The day was a classic example of what makes our band what it is. The kids work hard and put in a lot of early mornings and it’s nice for them to see that hard work does pay off, however, the real reward comes from their families and friends; that is what makes a day like that so memorable. Everyone was there to share in the celebration. We are so fortunate to enjoy that kind of support. The band and color guard really is a family affair,” Jones added.
Northwest is not the only success story for the bad this fall; the band took second place in the field competition at the Southwest Iowa Band Jamboree and first place in the street competition at Missouri Western State College. To cap off an already successful season, the band will perform on Oct. 25, 2003 for the Missouri School Board Association. This event, which will take place at Tan-Tar-A resort in Osage Beach, will be attended by superintendents and school board members from across the state.
“The band is really looking forward to this opportunity. It’s not every day you get the chance to play for such a prestigious group of people.” The kids were given the option to play for this event or travel to Columbia to compete in the University of Missouri Homecoming Parade, they chose to play for the MDBA. “I think it will be cool to ge to go play for the superintendents,” commented one band member.
“We are very honored with the invitation to represent PC R-3 on a state-wide level” Jones remarked.
The band will conclude its regular season with a half-time performance on Nov. 6, 2003, when the Pirate football team takes on Southeast. At this performance, the band will recognize their senior members and their parents.