Arts & Entertainment

High school bands take center stage in Kennewick

Fans of drumlines, horns, flag dancers and intricately positioned human patterns can cheer on their favorite high schools at the 28th annual Southeastern Washington Cavalcade of Bands.

The marching band competition is coming to Kennewick Oct. 3 at Lampson Stadium in downtown Kennewick.

"It's a fundraiser for the Kennewick High School and Pasco High School music program," said Maria Allan, with the cavalcade group. "The support of the community by attending would help those programs."

Money from the daylong event goes toward uniforms, instrument repairs, traveling expenses and more.

The 24 participating bands are from Oregon, Washington and Idaho and range in size from 40 students to 225. Participating Tri-City area schools include Southridge, Kamiakin, Kennewick, Richland, Hanford and Pasco.

"Some of the shows that are being performed are original creations," Allan said. "Some of them are by the band director, students or past students. Kamiakin's performance is a musical composed by Jeff Chambers, a former Tri-City student.

A common theme this year is Cirque du Soleil. Others are rock medleys, such as the music of Billy Idol and AC/DC.

Some schools are performing pieces by Russ Newbury, the arts facilitator for the Pasco School District. Newbury recently wrote the fight song for Chiawana High School, which is not be competing this year.

"There's a lot of flags and rifles and a lot of color," Allan said. "They do almost anything to get the show real theatrical -- it's very colorful and lively. It's our Northwest music youth that is putting on these shows and it's awesome."

All 24 bands perform in their division and are adjudicated by eight judges. Schools with enrollment up to 999 students qualify as AA, and schools with more than 1,000 students are considered AAA.

AAA bands are further divided into a Small Band Division of up to 79 members, large bands of 80 to 99 members and an open division of 100 members and more.

Awards such as Best Percussion, Best Marching and Best Brass and Wind will be awarded at 4:30 p.m.

After the preliminary competition, the top 12 bands come back and perform in the finals at 6 p.m. Their score cards are wiped clean and any division could win the whole thing.

Central Valley took home the Best of Show title last year, while Mead took first place. The highest local finisher was Hanford High, which placed eighth.

"It brings a lot of money into the Tri-Cities," Allan said. "About 2,400 students alone, plus parents and grandparents that come in for that one day; it's good for the whole community."

The event runs from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets are $9 in advance. Adults are $14 at gate and $9 for students and seniors. Children 5 and under are free.

Tickets are available at Ted Brown Music and Adventures Underground in Richland, or from a Pasco High School or Kennewick High School band student. You also can download a pre-sale ticket order form online and send them to Cavalcade officials at their website.

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