Marching band draws inspiration from veterans - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Marching band draws inspiration from veterans

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DUBUQUE (KWWL) -- Thousands of Iowa high school students gathered Saturday for the Iowa State Marching Band Festival.

The Cedar Falls High School marching band has a show inspired by World War II veterans.

"The theme of this year's show is called 'Salute to the Greatest Generation,' and we're intending to honor, musically, the lives of everybody that served in World War II," Cedar Falls High School band director Kyle Englehardt said.

One senior said that means this year's show is extra special.

"This year there's an added motivation, because, it's not just about us sounding good, it's about doing something for the veterans. You know? The people who gave their lives in World War II and those who survived," senior drum major Louis Redfern said.

Englehardt said the show was a big - but worthy - undertaking.

"We tried to do in eight minutes, six years' worth of history," he said.

The band took the field and brought audience members along a journey from the pre-war era to wartime and then post-war era, all through music, movement and props.

One solemn moment has a student in uniform walk onto the field and present one of the members of the color guard with a folded flag.

Englehardt said it, "portrayed, you know, the loss of a loved one not being able to return home from World War II and the sacrifices that many, many people and many families had to make."

The band's efforts won both the audience and the judges over.

"We did earn a division one today, which was the highest rating in every box, so we're very thrilled with that performance," Englehardt said.

"This was one heck of a year to go out on," Redfern said.

The band is looking forward to its final performance Thursday at a home football game.

The Iowa State Marching Band Festival spans two Saturdays, and this week's group consisted of high schools from the northern half of the state. Those schools met at four different sites: Dubuque, Cedar Falls, Fort Dodge and Cherokee. Next Saturday's festival takes place in four southern Iowa cities.

Online Reporter Becca Habegger

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