With drummers drumming, pipers piping and tubas tubaing, some 5,000 members of high school bands along with pompon squads, twirlers and even rifle corps will strut their stuff Saturday in Lawrence.
It's all part of Kansas University's 45th annual Band Day, which begins with a parade Saturday morning through downtown Lawrence.
The annual event culminates Saturday afternoon in a massed band performance during halftime at the KU-Ball State University football game at KU's Memorial Stadium.
"Overall, its a great spectacle, a very colorful event," Tom Stidham, assistant director of bands at Kansas University, said today.
This year's event is expected to draw students from 70 high school bands from Kansas and Missouri, Stidham said.
Buses are expected to roll into Lawrence around 7:30 a.m. Saturday to line up for the parade, which begins at 9 a.m. in downtown Lawrence.
THE PARADE will travel from Buford M. Watson Jr. Park at Seventh and Kentucky, east on Seventh to Massachusetts Street and south on Massachusetts to South Park.
Leading the parade will be the KU Jayhawk Marching Band, followed by the Lawrence High School Band. Local Girl Scouts will carry the banners for the 70 visiting bands, which include the Baldwin High School band and the 312th U.S. Army Band from Lawrence.
Area bands participating include those from McLouth, Oskaloosa, Perry-Lecompton, DeSoto and Tonganoxie high schools.
"For many of the kids, this will be the biggest audience for them," Stidham said. "A lot of them really enjoy it because there's usually a big crowd downtown. The bands really look forward to the parade."
After the parade, the visiting musicians will gather at Memorial Stadium for a 10:40 a.m. rehearsal for the halftime show.
PRE-GAME festivities, featuring the KU Jayhawk Marching Band, start at 12:41 p.m. Only the KU band will play during the traditional pre-game show.
Kickoff for the game is at 1 p.m.
At halftime the massed bands will gather on the field while drill teams and pompon squads form on the west track. Color guards and flag lines will gather on the east track. And twirlers, banner carriers and rifle corps will form on the north end of the stadium.
For the halftime performance, the bands will open with the traditional "I'm a Jayhawk," arranged by James Barnes. The rest of the program includes "Brasses to the Fore," by Harold Walters, "It's Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" by Perren and Yarian, "Hey! Baby!" by Cobb and Channel, and "Patriotic Finale," arranged by Robert E. Foster, KU band director.
THIS YEAR'S event has drawn the most participating high schools in several years, Stidham said.
"The school bands range in size from about 20 members to the Lawrence High band, which has about 180 players. Some of them are not quite as proficient," he said. "You see some very good high school bands and some smaller bands."
Stidham said the annual band day event is a good promotional tool for KU and for KU's band program.
"We think it's good for students as well as the band director to visit the campus," he said.
Because the weather is forecast to be in the upper 80s, visiting band directors have been advised to prepare for the heat, he said.