On Sept. 22, the Lakeville South Marching Band placed first among 20 high school marching bands from Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota at the 31st annual Waseca Marching Classic. The event included a parade competition and field show competition. Under the direction of student drum majors Haley Greig, Belle Cucci and Aleks Lockman, the band earned the highest combined point total of the day and took home the Richard “Butch” Dufault Sweepstakes award.
“It was really fun and rewarding to compete among other bands at that level,” said Aleks Lockman. “We want to represent our school the best we can. The character-building we have received through band has created a great atmosphere and unique band family that shines through everyone as we perform.”
The band performed “Locked Out of Heaven” and “What I Like About You” during the parade, and their field show was entitled “The Six Pillars of Character.” The field show takes the audience on a musical journey through what it takes to build a person of strong character; trustworthiness, responsibility, fairness, citizenship and respect. The band has traditionally constructed shows around developing strong character in their student musicians, such as their 2016 show benefiting the American Cancer Society.
“We really want to convey a positive message to the community and reflect what we are as a band and who we are as individuals,” said Belle Cucci. “Our band members work hard to uphold the six pillars of character throughout our school and community.”
“The band’s personal goal is to “Beat South!,” said Chad Bieniek, director of bands. “Beat South! means that our students work to perform a more musical and cleaner show than the performances that came before.”
This year’s marching band did just that; the Marching Cougars beat their 2016 and 2017 parade and field show score. Over the last seven months, the band has performed at Lakeville South, around Minnesota, and in Dublin, Ireland. Their accomplishments include the Spirit of the Parade Award in Dublin, first-place in music and second-place overall during their Minnesota State Fair performance day, and the Overall Sweepstakes Champion in Waseca. More importantly, they have made hundreds of thousands of people smile and dance by performing with “Cougar Passion” and “Lakeville Pride.”
“The band gives me a home, a family and a community to be a part of. Everyone has great energy and it creates a great atmosphere. I encourage other students to find their home at school, whether it’s band or something else,” said Belle Cucci. “All students should feel accepted and cared for, and for me, that’s the feeling I get with our band.”
Upcoming Marching Cougar performances include the homecoming football game on Oct. 12 at Lakeville South, Youth in Music at the U.S. Bank Stadium on Oct. 13, and an indoor marching band concert on Oct. 27 at Lakeville South. The community is invited to all three performances. For additional information, please visit lakevillesouthbands.com.