On October 7, 2023, the DHS Pride of the Vikings Marching Band performed at the Iowa High School Music Association’s Marching Band Festival in Waterloo and the Muskie Marching Invite in Muscatine.
The Iowa High School Music Association’s Marching Band Festival is a divisional rating festival with scoring ranging from poor (Division V) to superior (Division I). The Pride of the Vikings Marching Band performed well, scoring their 21st consecutive Division I rating. At the Muskie Marching Invite the band placed 5th in Class 3A out of 11 bands and 10th out of 23 overall. The band also was awarded Best Drum Majors in class 3A.
The marching show is entitled “Thor’s Hammer” from composer Randall Standridge. Soloists include Lucas Hanson, trombone; Aitor Cuevas, trumpet; Amelia Wadsworth, mellophone; Brenna Parker, alto saxophone; Jensen Korsness, color guard; and Alex McGohan, snare drum. The color guard choreography was created by Abigail Toussaint, Jensen Korsness, Evon Leitz, and Kiele Eberling. The drill was designed by Andrew Classen from Drake University.
The Pride of the Vikings Marching Band is under the direction of Dustin Bliven, Matt Cody, and Emily Hahn. The drumline is under the direction of Kassidy Steines, and the color guard is under the direction of Laurie Walter. This year’s drum majors are Elizabeth Pritchard and Grant Zilka.
Mr. Bliven states, “This was one of the best marching bands I have had the privilege of working with in my 22 years as a teacher. They worked hard every rehearsal and really bought into the show this year. Having the opportunity to compete this year was educational for this ensemble. We were able to watch other groups we haven’t been able to see perform before and learn from how they performed, which was the biggest reason for attending a new festival and competing. We were completely honored to place 5th in our class, to receive the Outstanding Drum Major award, and to receive our 21st superior rating. It truly was a wonderful day for this group, and our success really stems from our outstanding students.”