The color and excitement of high school marching band competition will be on display this Saturday at Joe Wilber Field in Oswego.
The annual Oswego “Pageant of Champions” usually brings thousands of marching band fanatics to town and when the first band steps off the line at 6 p.m. a full house is expected to be involved in every move and note.
For over three decades Oswego has played host to nationally recognized bands from throughout Central New York.
This year a huge field of New York State Field Band Conference groups will be in Oswego.
Eleven bands will be performing during the evening.
Marching Band Director Scott Ciesla noted there will be a little more extra emotion at this year’s event.
He said, “Kyle Rookey was a member of the Oswego High School Marching Bucs and is an Oswego High School graduate. Kyle was a dedicated member of the Marching Bucs, but he was killed in Afghanistan while serving his country. Prior to the start of the show we will have a moment of silence and tapes will be played by Emily and Corey King.”
Emily is a current member of the Marching Bucs and Corey, an OHS grad, was a close friend of Kyle’s when they were trumpet players for the band.
Auburn will lead off the competition at 6 p.m. and others bands will followed at 15 minute intervals.
Following the Maroons will be Jordan-Elbridge, Central Square, New Hartford, East Syracuse-Minoa and East Irondequoit.
At 7:30 p.m. there will be a 15 minute judges’ break.
Competition will reconvene at 7:45 when Cicero-North Syracuse commences the National Division.
Following the NorthStars will be Webster, Liverpool and West Genesee.
Immediately following the West Genesee Wildcats will be the highlight for local fans with an exhibition by “The Pride of Oswego” the Oswego High School Marching Buccaneers.
The band will be led on to the field by drum major Cassandra Hondro and assistant drum major Julia Knight to present the 2012 program-“Thought Crimes: Music of an Orwellian Era.”
Oswego High School seniors making their last “Pageant of Champions” appearance include Brian Abbott, Joe Bertonneau, Danielle Benigno, Gabrielle Boni, Heather Carapetyan, Nicholas Cocks, Stephanie Cusyck, Seamus Darrow, Lisette DuFore, Carly Hewitt, Julie Knight, Kiersten Neacosia, Emilea Reinder, Grant Richmond, Deanna Santiago, Patty Talamo, Beau Todd and Liz Westcott.
Ciesla has been quite proud of the dedication and hard work of this year’s edition of the Marching Buccaneers.
Last weekend, the band competed at Baldwinsville and earned a score of 75.15.
Ciesla said, “This past weekend, the Marching Bucs finished in first place in their class and definitely made considerable improvement. We are very excited with the students’ progress and will look to make even more improvements over the next couple of weeks.”