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Raiders marching band to host first-ever post-season show Oct. 2

The Hastings Raiders Marching Band will host a post-season show Oct. 2 at 6 p.m. (Photo courtesy of Andrew Hill)

The Hastings Raiders Marching Band performed at the Rosemount competition last Saturday, placing second in their class. They also won the caption award for Outstanding Soloist with James McCord’s solo in the second movement. The band also scored the highest in their class with the wind section, earning the “Outstanding Wind Section” caption award.

The Raiders will compete next at Anoka High School and Champlin Park High School this Sunday, Oct. 2.

This weekend’s competition will be among the last the band will get to compete in, as the season is nearly over. To showcase the band’s progress over the course of the season, it is hosting a post-season show for the first time in the group’s history.

A post-show has been a popular request from parents and students, explained director Emily Chandler, but there have always been a few obstacles. The first is simply the weather; since the season ends in mid-October, there’s always a chance that the post-show could get snowed out. Plus, she added, the marching band show is only about 7.5 minutes long.

“It’s hard to invite everyone for such a short time,” Chandler said.

Still, it’s a show that the band’s leadership wanted to do. Parents get to see the first field performance in the preview show each year, but they don’t always get a chance to see the end result.

“They improve so much throughout the season,” she said.

So this year, they hit the drawing board and came up with a way to organize a post-show.

The event, set for Oct. 2 at Todd Field, will start with a free marching band clinic for seventh- through ninth-graders who play an instrument but aren’t in marching band. The Raiders Marching Band members will teach the others how to march, drill formation and some pep-band tunes that can be easily memorized. The clinic will last one hour, from 4:45-5:45 p.m.

The field will open to the public at 6 p.m., when the clinic participants will showcase what they’ve learned in a show-and-tell style performance, Chandler said. After that, the high school marching band will take the field and perform its competitive show. Altogether, the show will run about 30 minutes.

“I’m excited,” Chandler said. “I’m hoping it will be well received.

Band leaders are hoping that the clinic will serve as a recruitment event. Chandler said that marching band registration happens around February each year, but the band itself isn’t active at that time. By offering the clinic, Chandler said they’re hoping that musicians who haven’t joined will get a taste of what the group is like and carry the experience with them until it’s time to sign up for next year’s group. Plus, it’s a way to get more students talking about marching band, Chandler said, as those students who participate in the clinic will end up talking about it to their friends, as well.

The show will also be a good chance for the marching band to get one more performance in before they head to the state finals competition.

So far, Chandler said, the season has gone well for the Raiders.

“The kids have marched really well,” she said.

Before last weekend’s second place, the Raiders had earned two second-place finishes and one first place.

“Whatever we win, we just try to go out there and perform better than we performed before,” Chandler said.

The post-show is free for both clinic participants and audience. There will be parents collecting freewill donations.

Students in seventh to ninth grade who want to participate in the clinic can sign up by emailing Chandler at echandler@seas-school.org or call her at 651-338-8274.