By Faith DeSplinter
This week, the Mustang Nightrider Marching Band is heading to Bands of America Grand Nationals. They will compete against 100 bands from across the nation.
“Grand Nationals is such a diverse and really awesome experience. I get to meet people from all over the nation who share the same passion as I do. Seeing all the other kids my age who work just as hard as we do really makes me happy. The people from our band who we travel with become family because we’re on buses for 12 hours-plus and the best memories are made on the way to Grand Nats. It’s just the best thing I get to be a part of,” said junior, Lara Petty. Petty last went to Nationals her freshman year.
The group performs on Friday at 10 am. Those who wish to support the band program can either watch the performance on FloMarching or there is a watch party being held at UMC Good Shepherd Church, across the street from Mustang North Middle School. For those wanting to attend, people can start showing up almost an hour before the Nightriders perform to watch other bands perform.
Preliminary awards will be Friday night, but as of this moment there is no plans to have a watch party. Nationals is different than other competition as there are three rounds of competition. The three rounds include Prelims, Semi-Finals, and Finals. Finals includes the top bands in the nation.
One of the final band organizations is chosen to perform at the Rose Bowl Parade in the next school year. Jenks and Broken Arrow will compete at Nationals as well. Broken Arrow has even won Nationals several times.
“Going to Grand Nationals is something our band has been working towards for such a long time. It’s crazy to think that marching season is almost over but it’s been extremely rewarding. I can’t wait to see where our band goes Friday morning!” says freshman, Jasmin Como.