Tradition, great music teachers and dedication - when you harmonize them together helps to creates great high school bands.
That's what several students at both Lawrence High and Free State High schools said Tuesday afternoon about their respective band programs.
"We work hard every day," Justine Cross, a senior clarinet player at LHS, said shortly before band practice.
"And a lot of people in our school are dedicated to being good. It's a tradition," Cross said as students were heading outside to practice for this weekend's Neewollah Festival in Independence, Kan.
Another clarinet player, Kim Ferguson, a senior, had a similar explanation.
"LHS Band is really amazing this year because we have great drill and music," Ferguson said, as she spoke above the noise of dozens of students carrying their instruments outside. "And everyone is really dedicated to the program."
Holding a clarinet reed in his mouth as he got ready to go outside, Jonathan Fox, a junior, praised his teachers.
"We have a very good show this year, a very good group," Fox said. "It's a lot of fun."
Across town at Free State High School, students were lined up along the hallway outside the band room, waiting for their turn to audition for concert choir.
Gordon Fry, a junior trumpet player for the Marching Firebirds, praised the faculty.
"It's just the teachers and the talent that they have that's just so incredible," Fry said.
Arielle Laue-Minden, a senior drum major, spoke above the sounds of students warming up for their auditions.
"I think that we have a lot of support from the town and our teachers," Laue-Minden said. "And there's been a really strong music program that supports us."
Katie Travis, a senior drum major, said she thought it came down to the history of the program.
"I think it's tradition," Travis said. "We came in knowing all the great things that previous bands have accomplished. And we know we can reach greatness too."
Kelsey Lainge, a senior who is head drum major, agreed that tradition makes it important to students.
"We grow up around it," Lainge said. "A lot of people have older siblings who grew up around it, so you want to get involved. The directors know how to make it fun. But you still get enough accomplished that it always turns out well."