Waukesha North Marching Band wins seventh straight state title
Will next compete at national meet in Indianapolis
The season didn't get off to as smooth of a start as Waukesha North Band Director Greg Redner would have hoped.
Not because of any results. The Northstars' Marching Band has been just as dominant as ever.
But because of the fire that broke out toward the end of the summer inside North's fieldhouse while the team was in the midst of its band camp, it made preparation for the 2013 fall season a little hectic.
Schedules were altered and instruments could not be retrieved because the school was closed off.
"It was kind of a funky and goofy start to our season," Redner said.
This start, however, showed North's resilience and that nothing, including some sleet and rain last Saturday at Perkins Stadium on the campus of University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, was going to stop it from capturing its seventh straight Wisconsin School Music Association State Marching Band championship.
"We have a great group of kids this year," Redner said. "They're working their tails off. We're building a tradition of hard work and dedication to the program and the kids are doing great things."
While the weather wasn't ideal in Whitewater, Redner was just happy the competition was back outside after being indoors last year.
"I'd take the rain than being inside any day," he said.
Waukesha North won the Class AAAA grouping (the large-school division) with 90.80 points, edging out Waukesha West (89.55) and Oak Creek (88.10). This was the same finishing order as 2012 and 2011.
Waukesha West, which won seven titles from 1997 to 2006, has finished the runner-up to North each of the last seven years.
"They always are fantastic competitors," Redner said of Waukesha West and Oak Creek. "One of the day's highlights was that we got to watch those two schools perform and they put on fantastic programs."
North has done this all year.
The band won all the competitions it entered in Wisconsin and placed in the top 10 in a challenging field in Illinois.
"We've continued to go up (with points) throughout the season," Redner said. "But our main goal is to have our best performance at state. That's what we strive for."
North has competed at a national level over the years and most recently took part last fall in the Bands of America Grand National Championships at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
The Northstars will once again be in that competition, which takes place from Nov. 13-16. North, which will have a community "Thank You Show" at 4 p.m. Nov. 2 at its high school, will perform Nov. 14 in Indianapolis. A tentative start time, Redner said, is 6:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Leading up to that competition, Redner said the team, which consists of 148 students, will look "to get much cleaner on the field."
He added he and the staff will use this time period similar to how coaches in college football prepare for a bowl game at the end of the season.
"We'll break down technique and reinforce fundamentals to have the best performance," Redner said.
The theme the Northstars have used this season and will take to Indianapolis is called "Be You."
He said the theme has really resonated with the students.
"It's so important for us to do something the students understand and buy into," Redner said. "And they've really taken to it. It's about having one's own voice in high school and finding your own personality. I think they identify with it and really enjoy it and put their heart into it."
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