Wayland band to co-host Plainview Pioneer Marching Festival

The Pioneer Marching Band from Wayland Baptist University will join forces with the Plainview High School band and boosters to present the Plainview Pioneer Marching Festival on Saturday, Oct. 12 in Bulldog Stadium.

In its 13th year, the festival will feature 46 schools from around the area in an event meant to prepare bands and directors for the more formal University Interscholastic League competition the following Saturday, Oct. 19.

Competition will begin at 8 a.m. with 1A schools, wrapping up around 9 p.m. with 5A schools. An exhibition performance by the Wayland band will begin at 9 p.m., followed by a performance of the PHS "Powerhouse of the Plains" band. An awards ceremony will follow at 9:30 p.m.

According to WBU Band Director Tim Kelley, the event has been a partnership between he and PHS Director Barry Hurt since Kelley came to Wayland in 1995. For several years before, Wayland had operated the festival solo in their music facilities, tailoring their event to smaller schools that could not afford to travel far. But the event soon outgrew Hilliard Field and when the WBU band was in between directors, PHS picked up the festival for a year. Kelley said the current arrangement is really a win-win for both programs.

"The combination of our resources and their resources is what really made for a successful contest, which is one of the largest in this region of the country," Kelley said. "The high school secures the facilities and the boosters run the concession stands, and our students basically operate the festival as far as the physical running of the event."

Kelley said PHS band staff members serve as judges for the event, though he said the festival is not as stressful as the actual UIL competition.

"This is intended as a pre-UIL event to prepare them for the experience before it counts for or against them," he said. "Our judging is a bit more relaxed and is intended to assist directors, not to penalize them. This just helps them to shake out any bugs in their program or timing."

Kelley said the event is a boon for Plainview because of the economic impact of having 15,000-plus visitors in town that one day.

Specific schools performing (in order) include Springlake-Earth, Anton, Spur, Ropes, Morton, Sudan, Lubbock Monterey, Klondike, Whiteface, O'Donnell, Smyer, Jayton, Plains, Hale Center, Olton, Floydada, Lockney, Idalou, Abernathy, Shallowater, Roosevelt, New Deal, Seagraves, Crosbyton, Petersburg, Ralls, Sundown, Tahoka, Post, Denver City, Littlefield, Seminole, Levelland, Tulia, Muleshoe, Slaton, Lamesa, Lubbock Cooper, Brownfield, Lubbock Estacado, Big Spring, Frenship, Lubbock Coronado, Lubbock High.

The festival is open to the public, with gate admission of $2 per person. Concessions will be available. For more information or for specific band performance times, visit the WBU Web site at www.wbu.edu and click on the "marching contests" link.