McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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October 29, 2013

Pride of McAlester band finishes fall season



“I’m really proud of these seniors,” Steidley said.

“Over the last four years, they’ve been in the top three at OBA.”

Steidley credited the band’s success this fall in part to McAlester’s color guard. Though the guard won’t compete separately until the winter, Steidley said the group provided an essential visual component to the band’s performance.

“Our marching contests that we go to, the guard is incorporated into the visual scores that we get,” Price said.

“At like OBA, how well the music and visual works together, that’s called the ‘general effect’ category, and that’s actually about 60 percent of our score.”

Having previously been in charge of the band’s visuals, Price said he’s very aware of the importance of the color guard. The OBA Championships wrapped up Price’s first season as marching band director.

“He did a super job,” Steidley of Price. “His first year as the head of the marching band, I was really proud of him.”

“The biggest thing I’ve learned so far is working on basic dance in the show,” Price said. “You know, ballet, because a lot of that is really being incorporated now in the show — stuff that I don’t even know how to pronounce.”

Steidley said the Pride of McAlester will continue to perform at McAlester football games, of which at least three remain. The band will also begin transitioning to the concert band winter season, which will include Christmas performances by the middle school, junior high and high school bands.

“We also have coming up in a couple of weeks individual students auditioning for All-District and All-State band,” Steidley said. “Seventh through 12th (grade), we have a little over 200 students that are auditioning for those.”

Concert and sight-reading competitions will take place in April. Superior ratings then would mean another State Sweepstakes for one of the best music programs in southeastern Oklahoma.

Contact Matt Goisman at

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