KINGSBURG – Kingsburg High School hosted its first Western Bands Association competition, the Viking Classic, Nov. 11, where nine schools in five categories vied for first-place trophies.

Kingsburg High’s Marching Band and Color Guard bested three other schools in its category to win first place and awards for high auxiliary, high percussion, high music, high visual and high general effect.

Nine different judges from the Western Band Association focused on such categories as general music effect, ensemble visual, percussion and auxiliary.

Organizers say the field shows have become more complex as colorful props and visuals add to the bands’ programs and the choreography of the color guards have evolved to be more interwoven with the musicians themselves.

“It’s become much more artistic,” Kimbi Sigle said of the field performances. Sigle is the Kingsburg High Music Booster’s corresponding secretary. She also teaches music at Rafer Johnson. “When I was in the Fresno State Marching Band, we didn’t have all the visuals. We had all the movement and the instruments, but the actual artistic part is all new in the last eight years or so.”

Sigle said the trend has been set by Drum Corps International and she predicts the creativity – and competition - will only increase over time.

She credits Kingsburg High’s Band Director Mike Schofield and Assistant Director Oliver Bullock with coming up with the idea to have a WBA event at home to showcase not only the music students’ talents to their hometown, but also the school’s stadium.

“Western Band Association is the circuit we’ve gone to and we always travel. This is a great way to bring people to our stadium and show off our great facility and show how organized we can make the event,” she said.

Schofield credits the KHS Band Boosters for helping run this first competition and hopes to keep building participation from area schools.

“It’s nice to showcase our school to an entirely new audience. I’ve received nothing but compliments from people all night long. It’s been great.”

The Vikings’ field show is based on the repeating patterns found in nature known as the mathematically concept of fractals. In this season’s program that Schofield and Bullock wrote, they’ve incorporated tall teal poles that the band students maneuver about to create repeating formations.

“We just thought of the fractals and how we could use these cool poles and make patterns that repeat. It’s not really about any story. It just looks and sounds cool.”

So while Booster President Leslie Peters and Vice President Amy Corgiat helped organized a team of boosters to tackle behind-the-scenes needs such as hospitality tents, bus parking and concessions, the students say they pitched in as needed and were glad about the results of their field show.

Lead trombone player India Sigle said she’ll never forget being a part of this first competition at her own high school.

“Representing our school and our town on this scale was an honor. To win in the 2A category with our best score of the season really proved how far our program has come and that we belong in this type of competition,” she said.

India Sigle is also the band president and she credits the boosters with being so organized that the students could focus on the field show.

“None of the students had to stress about the logistics of the show itself and [we only had to] worry about our product on the field.”

Flute soloist Alyssa Santivanez agreed that being part of this first competition was momentous for the band members.

“Nothing can beat the feeling of tonight’s first ever Kingsburg Viking Classic field show competition. Holding a competition of our own was something the Kingsburg High Marching Band and I will never forget. I am truly blessed as a senior to experience this. I love our Kingsburg band program to pieces. Congratulations to all of our members and a huge ‘thank you’ to everyone who made tonight possible.”

Kimbi Sigle said she’s impressed by the physical demands, artistry and precise coordination that go into each of the high schools’ performances that night.

“Band is an amazing activity. It’s amazing to be part of something that big and that precise. It’s a sport but there’s also the brain activity that goes into it. They’re all important and they all mean something and they work together.”

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