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By Carrie Pitzer
Although Mother Nature did rain on their parade Saturday, the Warrior and Cyclone bands smiled through it all.
Bands of all size marched at the annual Lion’s Club Parade in Norfolk, where Neligh-Oakdale earned best overall band, besides the top honor in Class C.
“I’m stunned. You don’t expect something like this,” said Neligh-Oakdale director Nate Metschke. “These kids have worked hard. I’m so proud of all of their work and effort that they’ve put into this. I couldn’t be happier with them.”
Clearwater-Orchard did not place in the top two in Class D but still had lots to be proud of, according to their director Emily Heithoff.
“The kids have worked really hard this year,” she said. “I pushed them with a harder song, and they rose to the occasion. I’m very proud of the work they put in this year.”
Clearwater-Orchard is playing “Uma Thurman” by Fall Out Boy in the parades, which is a fun modern song for the 25 students.
“We have a young group, with only three seniors, and they are working really hard,” Heithoff said.
Neligh-Oakdale featured one of the larger bands at the parade with 44 students and is playing Fall Out Boy song - “Irresistible.” The drum cadence, “Irresistabeat,” was written for the Warriors by Michael Klee.
“The band has been very focused this year,” Metschke said. “Every day we have specific goals and areas we want to improve. Same step style, body posture, horn angles and posture, are your ankles crossing at the same time?, is your horn parallel to the ground?”
Metschke said many of his students put in time this summer at a drum line camp, along with the Masonic All-Star Marching Band, and the Northeast Classic All-Star Band Camp. He said the skills students acquired participating in these camps have really taken them to a new level.
Those wanting to see the bands can tune into the Harvest of Harmony Parade on Saturday. Clearwater-Orchard is No. 192 in the parade, and Neligh-Oakdale is No. 222. The parade will be on television and streamed online.
A little closer to home, Clearwater-Orchard will have its fall concert on Tuesday, Oct. 4, in the Clearwater gym at 7:30 p.m.