The Preston High School band is participating in the Bridgerland Band Invitation on Oct. 9, at 8:45 a.m. With 43 high school marching bands coming to the competition from Utah and Idaho, marching band fans will have a full day of entertainment, said Wayne Manning, band director.
"This is about the only event in the world, that this many schools can come together in one day and represent their school in competition," said Manning. The public can watch the 10-15-minute performances all day long for $8.55, at Utah State's at Maverick Stadium.
The thing that sets Preston's marching band apart, said Manning, is that their show has been choreographed by PHS senior, Luis Herring, for his senior project. Herring is the school's drum major, and plays percussion. A lot of awards and one sweepstakes.
"Marching bands always been sort of big for me. I wanted give back to the community because they've just supported us. I wanted to write something to be proud of and show off and say 'This is Preston,'" he said.
Herring is proud of the band and the work each member has put in to prepare for the competition.
"As a team we are prepared. Even though for us this is only a 10 minute performance, we've put many hours into this performance. We hope everyone will come out and support us," said Herring, who is also the band president. He has written the show to Big Band swing tunes, "Zoot Suit Riot," "It Don't Mean a Thing if it Ain't Got the Swing" and "I'll Be There."
He is especially happy with the band's performance to "Zoot Suit Riot, he said. "our band has been practicing that song for a couple month so we can perform it with a lot of power," he said. After high school, Herring hopes to go to college to major in either music therapy or music performance," he said.
Although the Bridgerland Band Invitational has been a big deal for years, this is just the third time Manning has taken a band to compete there. He took the band in 2009 and 2010.
"It's been a great experience for other kids, too," said Manning. "Student choreographing doesn't happen with any of the other bands."
There are 29 kids in marching band this year, including the color guard members who will spin and throw flags, rifles and sabers in the show under the direction of advisor Heidi Jensen.
The youth's efforts have been supported by the PHS Band Booster Organization under the direction of John Yeates, president. "They have been phenomenal to help," said Manning.
Other Idaho schools that will be participating are Bonneville, Century, Hillcrest, Caldwell, Madison, Vallivue, Highland, Columbia, and Nampa high schools. In Cache County, the bands from Ridgeline, Mountain Crest, Green Canyon and SkyView high schools will compete. Preston is the first school to perform, and they will compete against two Utah schools: Grantsville and Ogden high schools. Their awards will be presented at 1 p.m.