Black Thunder marching band excels at state festival
October 24, 2019
WORLAND – The Worland High School Black Thunder marching band received a superior rating at the 2019 State Marching Band Festival in Casper on Saturday, Oct. 19.
Black Thunder, led by Chad Rose and Frank Harding, along with drum majors senior Caleb Fraser and junior Anja Sheesley, received this honor and was one of three 3A schools to garner this honor. Black Thunder played highlights of “La Nouba, a Cirque Du Soleil” show, arranged by Jay Dawson.
“We work hard to get recognized with a superior rating,” Rose said. “Our motto is ‘Leave no doubt’, but the truth is with judges from around the country, having consistent scoring year to year is pretty tough.”
The color guard for the Black Thunder received a caption award for having one of the three best groups in the entire state. The color guard design was by Stacia Winters, formerly of the BYU Marching Band.
“Only three groups in Wyoming received the caption award, the other two from high schools over 1,500 students, so we are all pretty proud of that accomplishment,” Rose said.
With the state festival not being recognized as a competition, it is difficult to determine how well the Black Thunder compared to the rest of the state.
“It is considered a festival, which means we are to be judged according to our potential,” Rose said. “I would welcome the change to a competitive format, but it has been a festival since the late ‘80s.”
The commitment of this year’s edition of the 80 members in the Black Thunder Marching Band was strong after the graduation of a “plentiful number of seniors last year.”
“We asked things of this group the last two weeks that we had not asked of them before,” Rose said. “They doubted things a bit, and hopefully see now that Mr. Harding and I ask these things of them to help them grow. We could not have asked more from them.”
He added that “Mr. Harding and I are incredibly proud to be able to work with these students. They are diverse, comedic, committed, and super talented. We hope to continue to put together a product that makes all of Worland proud of the Black Thunder tradition.”