Archive for Tuesday, September 21, 2010

KU Band Day parade set for Saturday afternoon in Downtown Lawrence

Amber Aylor, a Perry-Lecompton high school junior and marching band member, left, rehearses formations with the band on Tuesday. The Marching Jayhawks and the University of Kansas School of Music will host Perry-Lecompton and over 30 other high school marching bands for the 63rd annual Band Day on Saturday, Sept. 25.

Amber Aylor, a Perry-Lecompton high school junior and marching band member, left, rehearses formations with the band on Tuesday. The Marching Jayhawks and the University of Kansas School of Music will host Perry-Lecompton and over 30 other high school marching bands for the 63rd annual Band Day on Saturday, Sept. 25.

September 21, 2010


Musicians from more than 30 high schools are set to converge on Lawrence this weekend for Kansas University’s 63rd annual Band Day.

And Thomas Stidham, associate director of bands, said he’s been around for 36 of the Band Days now.

“We love it,” he said. “The kids generally enjoy an opportunity to get to campus and see a game.”

This year’s events are scheduled around Saturday’s 6 p.m. KU football game against New Mexico State University.

After being canceled last year because of an early kickoff, this year will see the return of the annual Band Day parade. Stidham said he heard “quite a bit” of negative feedback after the parade was canceled last year.

The parade is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. in downtown Lawrence. The route is set to begin at Seventh Street and bands will march south down Massachusetts Street to 11th Street, Stidham said.

The high school bands — mostly from Kansas, but one school is scheduled to appear from Tarkio, Mo. — will also perform with the KU Marching Jayhawks during half-time of the football game.


kusp8 7 years ago

Thanks to Free State and Lawrence High for participating in the parade but NOT halftime.

hail2oldku 7 years ago

Both schools use pits for part of their percussion sections. Since KU won't allow the use of the pits (it really would be a headache) the band directors choose not to participate in the halftime shows and leave kids out of the performance.

kusp8 7 years ago

So do quite a few other's really a cop-out. I know for a fact these High School's feel "above" band day and really only do the parade because it gives them practice for competitions.

kusp8 7 years ago

Correction, I meant to say, "Quite a few other bands also have pits as a part of their percussion sections. However, they still choose to participate in Band Day. Furthermore, it's not like their pits truly participate in the parade, most of the pit either marches w/o an instrument or march w/ a modified instrument.

britt408 7 years ago

There's also not a huge amount of space on the field for 2 large marching bands. Most of the schools who come are quite small and many don't get a lot of opportunities to go to competitions (even though this isn't one) and play on a field, something that both LHS and FSHS have a lot of.

kusp8 7 years ago

Not true...Topeka High comes every year, and they're significantly larger than LHS or FSHS. It is an attitude of being better than band day which is the reason why LHS and FSHS don't go to the half-time show.

gsxr600 7 years ago

Being better? Who the hell are you to say that? I was in marching band at one of the high schools for all three years and we never felt "better" than other bands or band day itself. I think it's fair to say our schools are more fortunate to have the following and funds to have a large band than some band day participants with like 12 people in them and no uniforms, but if we felt better and far superior we'd be doing BOA competitions, not marching down Mass street (because that really has nothing to do with practicing for comps), and not competing at the KU Marching festival. We're all very humbled to have other organizations similar to ours come to Lawrence from across the state.

Raider 7 years ago

I agree with kusp8, it really is a cop-out. Both LHS and FSHS bands have been invited, and in some years even been offered $$, to participate in a very large annual parade in Lawrence. Each year, the answer is no and the reason is because it's inconvenient logisitcally.

hail2oldku 7 years ago


Both high schools are participating in the parade. They have simply elected not to cram into formation at the half-time festvities.

As far as marching in the parade preparing them for competitions goes, that is laughable as well. If you need work on marching forward in straight lines then you shouldn't even be entering competitions.

kusp8 7 years ago

Correct, they elect not to participate in the half-time show because they feel they are above it. Seriously, as a former member of the KU Band I know what I'm talking about. The simple fact is that LHS and FSHS do not participate and it's a shame that they chose to not support the KU Band program by going to the halftime performance.

Raider 7 years ago

Not a "Fail". I didn't specify the "band parade". They have been invited to participate in Lawrence's largest annual parade (think shamrocks) for years, and every year they decline. Another band from outside of DG county has to bus in b/c our two local schools won't participate.

Try reading before you pull the "fail" card.

Take_a_letter_Maria 7 years ago

If I might interject, isn't the parade to which you refer outside of the usual marching season for the high schools? I can fully understand them not participating at that parade for that reason alone. Take into account that the parade also falls during Spring Break and you have another reason for their lack of participation. Inconvenient logistically is a very valid reason in these cases. Marching Band is a single semester course. Who knows how depleted the ranks might be during the second semester, not to mention my first two points. I will agree with you that hail "failed" on his/her "fail" for the reason you mention, but your argument is still a "FAIL" based on just the information outlined here.

kusp8 7 years ago

My mistake...However Maria brings up a good point about the shamrocks parade.

thepianoman 7 years ago

31 bands?? That's it? Seems like attendance goes down each year.

schula 7 years ago

I remember when there were 70 - 80 bands and the parade seemed like it would never end.

George_Braziller 7 years ago

Uggghhhhh. Not another parade. I'll have to make sure I've run all my errands before 9 a.m. to be home and parked.

With any luck the police department won't allow triple parking on the street this time.

George_Braziller 7 years ago

Were you the jerk who parked in my front yard a couple of years ago and then got pissed because I asked you to move?

Paul Geisler 7 years ago

Yipee! Another parade! See, it sounds much better that way! :-)

I fondly remember my experience at KU's Band Day as a member of the Topeka West High School marching band! What fun!

Kathy Theis-Getto 7 years ago

Yes, magnus, it does sound much better that way!!! Thanks for the positive note. I, too, have fond memories of band day as a Highland Park Scot!

BigAl 7 years ago

This is just a stupid comment. Stupid!!! I myself know of people that come from out of state for "band day". They spend a LOT of money downtown on food and clothing. I know of people that come from towns all across Kansas that also spend money downtown. Then, these same people buy football tickets and spend even more money. Don't forget the hotel rooms.

I have seen some stupid comments on here before but LarryNative has just slid into first place.

amesn 7 years ago

Seriously people are GRIPING about the band day parade and the parking problems it causes??? Get a life people..better yet..get off yo lazy butts and walk a little ways! Or or...what?? Ride a bike? Nah...that's too much effort too! I am the proud sister of a KU band member! Band rocks!

mom_of_three 7 years ago

What do you mean, lots of people downtown and no spending. there are people who come in and watch their kids and spend money. Used to love the marching in the parade as a kid.

maybeso 7 years ago

Best parade of the whole year! I missed it a lot when it didn't happen last year.

Kookamooka 7 years ago

I love this parade! If you don't like football, you don't have to sit through a game to hear the bands. :) I wish marching bands had a blog where you could go to hear them complete with a calendar of competitions. NOW that's cool!!! Better yet....Have Band Day and a competition or Festival on a weekend when the Jayhawks are out of town!!!! Take over Memorial Stadium. That might be good for the Athletic Departments HORRIBLE public relations snafu!!! Secure it now, before they find a new A.D.!!!!

Tristan Moody 7 years ago

There actually is quite a web presence for the activity.


and KU has hosted a marching competition for at least the last 18 or so years. It's typically around the second or third saturday in october.

hail2oldku 7 years ago

"Kookamooka (anonymous) says… Have Band Day and a competition or Festival on a weekend when the Jayhawks are out of town!!!! Take over Memorial Stadium."

Psssssst, they already do that

Both of the local high schools are scheduled to compete.

asbury 7 years ago

Glad it's back. Wish I could be there!

rgh 7 years ago

I love the parade. As a past member of the Marching Jayhawks, it's not much fun doing the half time because there is no "show" but it's still fun participating with surrounding communities' bands. Despite not having our show, it's still a nice thing for KU to do. Glad it's back.

Andrew Boyd 7 years ago

this is how it was explained to me when i was marching at free state. the halftime performance is a way to make the trip to band day worth it for bands. since there are groups that use to come from as far away as the western side of the state, and it would be silly to come for just a parade. also many of the student at the two high schools have many more chances to go to the game then those who are from else were in the state.

nobody1793 7 years ago

Every time you hear Louie Louie, take a drink.

akt2 7 years ago

Sorry it's such an inconvenience for some. But guess what, these kids work their butts off and deserve to participate in this. It's not just a parade. It is a beautiful sight to see the bands marching down Massachusetts. The uniforms, colors, sounds and school pride, and accomplishment are what it is all about. It's tradition.

halfling 7 years ago

As a current student at one of the high schools, and someone who participated in the parade today, I am quite disappointed by the negative remarks about the band. We do not feel as though we are "above band day" nor do we only do it for competitions. In previous there has been an actual marching band festival scheduled on the same day as the KU band day, and since there is no actual competition with KU, only a parade, both high schools have opted to attend the other event. This year, due to financial difficulties, the festival was canceled, opening the opportunity to attend KU band day. As for the reason we do not participate at halftime, we were told one of the main reasons was that our percussion section would not be allowed to participate, and since we, as a band are one entity, we do not participate if the entire band is not involved.

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