Archive for Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pride of LHS Marching Lions: Band looks back on winning season

The Lawrence High school Marching Lions, pictured, won two grand championships in 2009. They just missed placing first at Kansas University’s Heart of America Marching Festival.

The Lawrence High school Marching Lions, pictured, won two grand championships in 2009. They just missed placing first at Kansas University’s Heart of America Marching Festival.

November 22, 2009


They were just 0.1 of a point from a season sweep.

The Lawrence High Marching Lions came in second at Kansas University’s Heart of America Marching Festival by the slimmest margin possible.

However, it made their victory at the Neewollah Marching Festival that much sweeter — in Independence, LHS beat Buhler High School, the school that won in the Lions’ backyard.

Out of three festivals this marching season, the Lions were in perfect harmony and came away with two grand championships — at Neewollah and at the Blue Valley Invitational, a competition LHS has never won before.

“The music was absolutely phenomenal,” senior drum major Travis Jacobsen said of their program, “Caravan: A Journey Through the Sand.” “I think that’s what drove a lot of our spirits.”

This season was one of new beginnings, and one that band director Mike Jones believes will be one for the books.

“This was our first time in our new uniforms, on a new field,” Jones said. “This is a tradition-rich school, but yet, this is their chance to have a say in what’s happening in the new tradition.”

And while it’s nice to have new things, senior band members say that wasn’t what led to winning.

“It’s almost just luxuries that were added, but it’s heart,” senior trumpet player Henry Chapman said. “At the end of the day, it’s how much you give to the program.”

The band this year came away with enough hardware to fill an entire trophy case near the front entrance of LHS.

Other awards include two best drum major awards, best in Class 6A, best music, best general effect, and outstanding 1 ratings in two areas.

It’s been a few years since LHS has had a season this successful.

“It was really nice to step it up again and show how good we really can be when we put our minds to it,” senior trumpeter Tennery Carttar said. “I just hope the juniors and sophomores from this year will see how hard they worked this year and see how it paid off.”

Jacobsen said he hopes the legacy this year’s band leaves behind inspires the next generation of Lions to surpass its accomplishments.

“We hope that the band in the future is even better than we were,” he said. “In fact, that would be the best possible thing, I think, I could hope for for this band.”

The seniors hadn’t won any competitions until this year, but their mantra was to keep working hard.

“We’ve been playing for two years and gave it our all and finally got it our last year,” senior trumpeter Edward Plotnikov said.

Any advice for future Lions?

“Always try your best,” Plotnikov said. “Don’t feel discouraged when you don’t win.”


bigbird11 8 years, 7 months ago

Congrats! As a LHS marching band alum, I know how much effort the band puts in, as well as the hard work and dedication of the instructors. It feels great to have all those hours of work to pay off.

muddfoot55 8 years, 7 months ago

Congradulations LHS Marching Band!!!!!!!

These kids have worked hard and deserve the recognition.

It's too bad it took the LJW 3 week s to make mention of it in the paper, shame on you!

Skyler Houser 8 years, 7 months ago

I am very upset with the LJW today is Sunday the 22 of November. I was there when the Lawrence High Marching band won on Saturday 31 of October. Way to long for this story. The students at LHS and there directors and parents deserve better then this. It should have been on the front page days later not the 3 full weeks it took. They did a great job they worked so hard and they won. Please try to get our local news in the paper sooner. To me it is a slap in the face to the marching band for taking this long, its like you just don't care about some local news.. You are the LAWRENCE Journal world. Start acting like it.

Lowell Holmes 8 years, 7 months ago

As the parent of a senior member of the marching band I can attest to how hard these kids and sthe staff have worked to make this a teuly great year for them. It is just a crying shame that the focus of the local paper is on sports and crime and not on things that I believe can build pride in a community as much as a winning sports program. The parents of the marching band waged and email campaign to get a stoey printed when we were told there were no plans to write a story at all. Shame on you LJW, you should be better than this.

mom_of_three 8 years, 6 months ago

I don't think the kids performed well this year to get put in the paper. Sure, its nice to be recognized for your accomplishments and see your picture in the paper, but if that is all that you work for, then you have a heck of a hard future. I don't mind that the parents had an email campaign to put the story in the paper but what kind of lesson does that teach the kids - whine and complain to get recognition? Did anyone ever ask WHY the story wouldn't be covered? Maybe its time for a new arts/music/entertainment editor. maybe a letter by the kids would have been more effective.
you got your story, stop complaining

Lowell Holmes 8 years, 6 months ago

Wow mom, kinda cranky on a sunday aren't you? So I suppose tou would rather read nothing except the bad things that happen in town and hear about a group of hard working kids. Yes I am biased in this case but I think the lesson we need to be teaching our kids is that you do not have to be a sports star to get some recognition. Doing well in some area other than sports may not get the glory but it should merit a timely write up in the papr. And btw, what do you mean they didn't perform well? Judges in three competitions seemed to think they were outstanding.

mom_of_three 8 years, 6 months ago

oh, mightyquin, read it again. They didn't perform well to be put in the paper; that wasn't the aim of the band when they won two competitions. And the lesson you should teach is that you should be proud of your accomplishments, and it shouldn't matter whether they are recognized in the local paper. That wasn;t the goal of my kids when they performed in the band this year.
Yes, I have two kids in the band and I think the boo hoo attitude of the parents about the lack of coverage in the paper is embarrassing. Stop being helicopters and next time, let the kids handle it; write the paper, call the paper, etc. After all, its their accomplishment.

Skyler Houser 8 years, 6 months ago

mom of three they did do well enough they had 2 grand champion awards this year and one runner up and many other awards going by your logic the Lawrence high football team should never had been in the paper they only won one football game this year, there last one. Tell me exactly why the shouldn't have been in the paper they had nearly a perfect marching band season fyi i was in the band at lhs that did portraits in blue we had the same amount of awards one 2 grands and one runner up
it should not matter if they had lost the LJW needs to report on these type of things so the local people know about it. They were in the paper the DAY after the ku marching festival where the lost by .01 it took 2 weeks for the Blue VALLEY festivial which they won, And 3 weeks for neewollah it took 3 weeks

del888 8 years, 6 months ago

The Free State Marching Firebirds also have a fantastic band. Let's see an article on them. How about in tomorrow's paper, or is it too soon? Congratulations LHS Band

Skyler Houser 8 years, 6 months ago

free states last marching competition was the Ku marching Festival it was in the paper the day after

jayhawklawrence 8 years, 6 months ago

Congratulations to the kids at LHS and Free State! These kids did an incredible job.

For LHS to win so many competitions is a credit to their hard work and dedication, talent, and unbelievable music teachers.

We have something special in this town with our music programs.

Alabamastreet 8 years, 6 months ago

Both Jones' are great assets to LHS and this community. The LHS symphonic band is just as awesome as the marching band.

LHS has a great music department, and despite having less money and older facilities than FSHS, it holds its own, and this year in marching band, was signficantly better.

Lowell Holmes 8 years, 6 months ago

Mom of three, just so I know, if missing a perfect season by a tenth of a point isn't good enough to deserve a write up in the paper what is? And you know positive reinforcement is an important part of learning. So if showing our kids that we are proud of them by fighting to get a story printed offends you well too dagum bad. I wonder, have you told your kids that they didn't play well enough to be in the paper? Thats a good mom! NOT!!!

Hop2It 8 years, 6 months ago

I don't have children in high school...and I find this incredibly newsworthy. This is why school is not just about the pages of your math, science and literature books. Think about how much the dedication, hard work and leadership will help them as they finish high school and enter the real world.

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