Free State High School was among the bands that received a ``superior'' rating at the seventh annual Heart of America High School Band Festival Saturday in Memorial Stadium.
``They did really well,'' said Tom Stidham, associate director of bands at Kansas University, which sponsors the event along with the Kansas Music Educator's Assn.
``We thought they did well and the judges did too.''
FSHS received a rating of I, which is the highest on a scale of I to V.
Lawrence High School, which was scheduled to play at 12:45 p.m., was one of seven bands that were unable to perform because of rainy weather.
``It's been a problem because some of the bands just gave up and returned home,'' said Bob Foster, KU director of bands.
Fifteen bands from Kansas and Missouri were able to participate in the event.
Each band was rated by a five-judge panel on their sound, technique, timing, coordination, and showmanship.
DeSoto High School scored a II, or ``excellent'' rating.
Saturday's rainy weather also affected crowd participation in the event, drawing less than 1,000 people.
``Normally, we've got 8,000 to 10,000 people here by now,'' Foster said on Saturday afternoon. ``The weather has obviously affected the gate.''
The Free State Marching Firebirds, in only their second year of existence, performed ``The Best of the Beatles'' on Saturday.
The band also received superior ratings in marching and concert last year.
Following were other bands that played and their ratings on Saturday: Raymore-Peculiar, III; Louisburg, II; Lansing, III; Topeka West, I; McPherson, II; Maize, I; Blue Valley North, I; Washburn Rural, II; Olathe North, II; Shawnee Mission South, II; Olathe South, I; Shawnee Mission West, I; Olathe East, II.
A III rating is considered ``good.''
Judges gave no IV (``fair'') or V (``poor'') ratings.
-- Michael Dekker's phone message number is 832-7187. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.