In a season full of first place finishes and history-making achievements, Mustang High School marching band once again celebrated a first, as they Saturday took third at Oklahoma Bandmasters Association 6A state competition.
It was the band’s highest placement since Class 6A was created, director of bands Ryan Edgmon said Monday. Mustang’s “Shark World” earned that distinction just one week after another history-making performance, when the band secured sixth place at Bands of America’s Super Regionals in St. Louis. That, too, was the highest placing for Mustang bands at a BOA event.
Those achievements – and two back-to-tack top finishes at Yukon and Deer Creek invitationals early in the season – were particularly gratifying after a 2020 season that never got off the ground due to school closures and safety concerns related to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“At the beginning of fall 2020, we set out with a goal to make sure that we were staying true to our work ethic and progress through all of the difficult situations over the last year,” Edgmon said. “It was very nice to see that progress evident on the field and in the competitive realm as well - this season is certainly a special one.”
Mustang bands have hovered but never broken into the top three OBA placement. In 2015 and 2019, its programs “Birds of Prey” and “Rawr,” respectively took fourth place; Mustang in 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018 took sixth place and was fifth overall in both 2012 and 2013.
Edgmon took over as Mustang director of bands in 2010. A program that for several years did not make OBA finals at all or placed in the lower half of those making that cut, Edgmon and his staff have consistently placed at least in the top six since 2013, OBA records showed.
Broken Arrow High School, which won Saturday’s OBA 6A competition, has done so the past 19 consecutive years. While Owasso band took second, regular Top 2 OBA finalist Tulsa Union placed seventh Saturday; fellow Canadian County 6A Pride of Yukon also celebrated its state performances, as the band easily surpassed Union to take sixth overall – the first Top 6 placement for that band since 2007.
Mustang has one more competition to go before it wraps up its 2021 marching season, as they head next week to Indianapolis for Bands of America Grand National Championships, set for Nov. 10-Nov. 14.
“We are continuing to work diligently as we prepare for our final competition of the year,” Edgmon said. “We will be competing in a three-day competition featuring 100 bands from all across the country.”
As of press time, Mustang was scheduled to give its Grand Nationals preliminary performance at 10 a.m. Nov. 12, Edgmon said.
The band will give one more local performance of “Shark World” at 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 8 at Mustang High School’s Bronco Stadium. That performance is open to the public.