Saturday, Oct. 7 was a chaotic, wet, and triumphant day for the Olivet High School marching band. According to band director Dave Funk, the roughly 100-student band weathered (no pun intended) storms, a bus breaking down, and no warm up before the Vicksburg Invitational. The band arrived, performed, left, and then unloaded their equipment in the rain. Challenges aside, the band was outstanding.
The Olivet marching band scored a 90, won every caption of the competition, and took first place in their class C division. What’s more is this year was the band’s first time attending the Vicksburg Invitational. Like a battle hardened troop the band arrived to the festival, kicked butt, and left. (Mic drop)
“The kids did a great job, and I was proud of how they handled the adversity of the day,” said Funk.
He was humbly impressed with his students. They acted and performed professionally through all of the day’s obstacles, and he believes they’re as ready as they can be for their next and final competition of the season.
Saturday, Oct. 21 the Olivet marching band is participating in a marching festival at East Kentwood High School. Olivet has attended the East Kentwood festival for several years, and every couple of years they step up their game. According to Funk, Olivet is one of the only bands of their size in the Class A division at the East Kentwood festival. The other bands in that division outnumber them by up to 50 to 100 students.
“We finished second last year. That allows us to play second from the end,” said Funk. “I’m really excited we can go second from the end. We’ve never had that before. Getting to play at the end of the night really makes a difference.”
Taking second place in their division was indeed a big feat for the smaller band, but Funk sees that accomplishment and the band’s many other accomplishments as well within their ability.
“My philosophy is these kids aren’t any different than any other kids. Whether we win an award or not, I just want them to go out and see how they compete against these big schools.”
The Olivet High School marching band is competing at East Kentwood High School at 8 p.m. Saturday October 21. While they’ll be performing for a crowd of about 4,000 people by Funk’s estimate, visitors from back home are welcome to make the hour drive to see them compete.
“A huge part of our success this year has been the band boosters,” said Funk. “I can’t thank them enough.”
In November the band will be traveling to Disney World to march in a parade, participate in a recording workshop, and enjoy the southern weather. To learn more about the Olivet bands and to keep up with what they’re doing, readers are encouraged to like the Olivet Band Facebook page.