Who are those people marching through the streets in funny hats and blasting out music? It’s the MHS band. The marching, pep, and concert bands have been spending dozens of hours diligently practicing. They will strut their stuff during the Homecoming parade tomorrow and will entertain the fans during halftime. Drum majors, Brianna Schreurs and Taylor Balling will lead the 101-member band.
Director Susan Karels is a seasoned professional and seems to know how to coax the best out of each musician. The band has won numerous superior ratings and accolades during her 24-year tenure in Milbank.
Last February, they played at a Minnesota Timberwolves game. In 2013, the marching band earned the title of Top Marching Band for Hobo Days at SDSU and also played at the Boys State Basketball Tournament in Rapid City. The band was honored to play at the Mall of America in 2011, the same year Karels was selected as Teacher of the Year in Milbank and then Teacher of the Year for the Region.
Karels gives two quarterly lessons to the high school band members and weekly lessons to all 124 middle school musicians. She also teaches fifth grade band at St. Lawrence. How does she get it all done? Karels cited her love for music and commended the community for their support. “The band appreciates all the parents who work the concession stands, chaperone, and assist at events.”
You can catch both the high school and middle school bands during Band Night at the September 25 football game in Milbank or check out their new music at the Festival of Bands Marching Competition in Sioux Falls on October 3.
Section leaders for this year include Hannah Rick and Savannah Mork, flute; Brianna Schreurs, Katie Cannedy and Brooke Fraasch, clarinet; Chris Loutsch, bass clarinet; Heidi Bergquist and Korinne Roggenbuck, alto saxophone; Cara Berkner, tenor saxophone; Colton Frevert, baritone sax/tuba; Rebekah Tuchscherer and Rachelle Gabriel, trumpet; Whitney Falk, french horn; Ellie Webb and Allison Grear, trombone/euphonium, and Shauna Pauli and Morgan Schmitt, percussion. Kristi Seehafer assists Karels with the flag girls during marching season as well as preparing for the annual Pops Concert.