Lone Grove Schools’ band won sweepstakes at the OSSAA State Band Contest in Ada last Thursday.
Lone Grove Band Director David Hagan said 80 students competed this year, earning 1’s in their sight-reading and performance. Hagan said the win was the result of years of steady work and improvement.
“It’s been six years,” Hagan said. “The last time we did this was 2012.”
He said former band director Doug Hansen was instrumental in the school’s success.
“For several years we had two directors,” Hagan said. “We’ve been working toward this goal for a long time.”
Hagan said for a band to succeed at the state competition, students need to show commitment, focus and be prepared to practice.
“We’re coming in every morning between half an hour and an hour before school every morning,” Hagan said. “And we have practices after school is over. During marching season it’s even more intense.”
Hagan said for his students, band is a source of camaraderie and friendship. They spend hours practicing together, but also make it a point to eat lunch together and hang out outside of school.
He said when it comes to competitions, the end result is entirely on the students.
“With fewer teachers we’re relying on the students to up the ante, and they did exactly that,” Hagan said.