WICHITA, Kansas – More than 600 students participated in Band-O-Rama at South High School Monday. District leaders say the yearly event showcases the hard work of all seven Wichita high school bands.
South High School student David Templonuevo first picked up a marching band flag four years ago.
“I didn’t have any flag experience before this at all, from there to being captain, I think I’ve improved quite a lot,” Templonuevo said.
The high school senior says while marching band is a lot of hard work, there’s tremendous pay off.
“My leadership skills are way better. Also my social skills because the marching band, we turn into one big family,” he said.
According to the district’s fine arts coordinator, participation in band is on the rise in recent years across USD 259.
South High School Band Director Jordan Brown says the marching band doubled in size at South over the last three years. South’s band grew from 60 to about 120 students. Jordan says he’s encouraged by the growth and the district’s support of the music programs despite getting fewer dollars from the state in recent years.
“We work with what we have we make an excellent product with what we have that’s part of the learning experience for the kids is that even when things are more difficult when things might not be perfect we still work through that situation,” Brown said.
And for the students, the hard work can lead to opportunities beyond high school while building relationships that could play on even after the music stops.