Olathe West Marching Band Drums Up a Reputation at Competitions


Drum Major Zoe McBee leads the marching band at the game against Shawnee Mission Northwest.

Addison Smith, Writer

Band has been competing in several competitions in the past few months, showing the community what they’ve got in addition to playing at school sporting events and concerts.

Starting their first competitions early in this school year, they began with Drummit at the Summit, a competition at Lee’s Summit High School on Sept. 18, earning first place in Black Class.

Certain events and competitions were optional, and some weren’t. Certain ones being strictly for marching band, and others for all band members.

Sophomore marching band member Owen Diediker plays percussion in marching band and symphonic band, in addition to piano in jazz band.  

“We’ve been to quite a few football games for marching band, ” Diediker said. “And then we’ve been to several competitions as well.” 

The marching band competed in the Olathe Marching Exhibition and Olathe Marching Invitational on Oct. 4 and 9.  

“We don’t get home ‘till like one in the morning,” Diediker said. “And same with football games. But they’re a lot of fun.”

As expected, going into competitions can cause some nerves.

“We get a little shaky before competitions,” Diediker said. “But it’s the same show we’ve done all year. 

On Oct. 16, marching band competed in the Odessa Marching Invitational. They were placed in Black Class along with Smith-Cotton, and scored a total of 77 points, beating Smith-Cotton in that class. 

In the final rankings of the Odessa Marching Invitational, they scored a total of 152 points in Music Effect, 157 points in Visual Effect, giving them a total of 309 points for those categories, once again beating Smith-Cotton. 

In the categories of Music Ensemble and Music Individual, they scored a total of 163 and 161. In music, they totalled 324. 

In the final categories of Visual Ensemble and Visual Individual they scored 161 and 140, giving them a final ranking of first in Black Class. 

In addition to these competitions and invitationals, they also participated in the Central States Marching Festival event at Kansas State University on Oct. 23, and the Neewollah Marching Festival and Grand Parade in Independence, KS on Oct. 30.

“I would have to say my favorite competition was Neewhollah,” Diediker said. “Because we placed really good at that competition.” 

Competitions aren’t finished yet, with the KMEA (Kansas Music Educators Association) and the All-State Band events that are voluntary to members in February. 

“I’ve made lots of friends through band,” Diediker said. “I love playing every day.”

Giving themselves a reputation for their effort, the marching band has gone through rigorous practice to represent for the Owls.