Klahowya band wins back-to-back sweeps

Snap ... snap ... snap, it’s the Sharks versus the Jets in a musical showdown showcased by the Klahowya Marching Eagles. Its interpretation of the classic “West Side Story” earned the Class 2A band a Sweepstakes award at Wenatchee’s Apple Blossom Festival held May 1.

“It’s pretty surprising. We didn’t think they would give the same school sweeps two years in a row,” said senior Kathryn Hightower, one of three drum majors.

Last year the Marching Eagles version of “Sing Sing Sing!” yielded the same prize.

“We all have a bunch of energy when we go in there,” Hightower said.

“That’s what catches people’s eye.”

The Eagles will perform their award-winning routine in the Armed Forces Day Parade which starts at 10 a.m. today in downtown Bremerton.

Lindsey Kuehl, a senior and drum major has been in the marching band for the past four years.

“I like performing and the way the band feels like a family. It’s a great group to be with no matter what happens,” she said.

The key to a successful performance is energy.

“No matter how tired we are there’s just tons of energy,” when they go into a performance, Kuehl said.

Band teacher Doyle Clouser told his students to not expect to win the sweepstakes award this time around. but then rescinded his advice when word came back they had won top prize out of 24 bands.

He continually coaches them on keeping the enthusiasm high to engage the crowd whether it be judges or sports fans.

“It was a cool way to end my senior year,” Kuehl said.

Underclassmen should be prepared to “work really hard and have a lot of fun,” Kuehl said.

Drum major Jesse Ellis, a junior, hopes to repeat the win next year.

“It’s fun entertaining (the judges),” he said of the contest.

“The adrenaline’s pumping, we’re completely focused and the energy — it’s intense,” Ellis said.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates