Hastings Marching Band students cried tears of joy as they were announced the Class AA champions at the Youth in Music Marching Band Finals this past weekend.

On Saturday, Oct. 12, the Hastings Raiders Marching Band performed at US Bank Stadium against 28 bands from across the state. The band first performed the show, “The Web We Weave,” at noon, where they qualified to perform in the second round of competition that evening. During the second session of competition, Hastings competed against 10 other bands.

“The anticipation was awful,” Emily Chandler, one of the marching band’s directors, said. “They had a great show, but you never know how well the other bands are going to do.”

Last year the band was bumped up to Class AA, a class for more experienced bands, making the competition more tough for the Raiders.

As the final awards were being announced, the groups that the band considered to be their biggest competition were called fifth and third, Chandler said. Then they announced second place, and Hastings had yet to be called. Chandler went down to the students to grab a photo of their reactions.

The Raiders Marching Band reacting to their win at Saturday's state championship competition. They also took home three caption awards for their performance. Photo courtesy of Emily Chandler.
The Raiders Marching Band reacting to their win at Saturday's state championship competition. They also took home three caption awards for their performance. Photo courtesy of Emily Chandler.

“It was unreal. We could not have performed better,” Chandler said of the announcement that Hastings had taken the championship title.

The band also took home caption awards for “Outstanding Percussion,” “Outstanding Music,” and “Outstanding Visual Performance,” one that Chandler said the band is usually the weakest in.

The marching band is directed by Chandler and Thomas Wentzler. Staff for the percussion section includes Josh Wahlstrom, Josh Van Sant and Thomas Walker. Staff for the color guard includes Grace Bauer, Alice Flom and Tessa Hubley. Zoe Norrgard is responsible for color guard design. Visual technicians for the band are Macy Pollard, Abe Kummer and Travis Perkins. The music technician for the band is Jake Bohlken.