Nightriders end year on high note

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By Patrick Osborne

The Mustang High School Nightrider Band reeled in the awards and achievements all year long, making school history in the process.

The Nightriders started the year placing fourth at the Moore Outdoor Marching Festival after completely restarting their show the Tuesday before the competition. They were then selected as a finalist at the Renegade Review Marching Festival where they placed fifth overall and second for in-state bands.

(Photos/Traci Chapman)

The Nightriders made school history competing for the first time in the 2013 Bands of America Grand National Championship in Indianapolis, where they placed 34th, just missing out on Grand National semifinals. They finished the year in fifth place out of all 32 Class 6A schools.

The band also had many firsts and achievements throughout the year, receiving superior ratings in marching, concert, sight-reading and jazz bands. Wind Ensemble and Symphonic band both earned Sweepstakes in Class 6A, the OSSAA’s highest level of concert band evaluation. Jazz Ensemble 2 earned a superior rating from all the judges at the OSSAA Jazz competition, where they placed fifth out of all 6A schools. Director Ryan Edgmon said this added the prestigious Accent Award to their Sweepstakes plaque, making them the only school in the state of Oklahoma to have a double Sweepstakes award with Accent. The band also boasts the privilege of having the reigning state champions for Jazz Combo in the Open Class Jazz Combo division.

Individually, the band had 44 students perform at the prestigious OSSAA State Solo and Ensemble competition. Of the 44, 38 earned superior ratings at the highest level of individual competition in the state. Out of all 230 students the band boasted an overall GPA of 3.45, with 107 earning better than a 3.5. More than 60 percent are enrolled in at least one college level course, with many taking up to four.

The band looks toward next year looking not only to continue to improve on an impressive and successful year but also grow. The band is set for a second consecutive year of Grand National competition, heading to St. Louis in October. With 348 sixth-graders set to join band this next year, that takes the band number from grades 6-12 to more than 940. Combine that number with the multiple classes that will be offered, the band staff will see more than 1,000 Mustang High School students each day in the 2014-2015 school year. With so much growth under the leadership of the band staff, the Mustang High School Nightrider Band is set for continued success in the upcoming years.