The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local news

September 14, 2013

Tri-State slates Oct. 1 marching contest

ENID, Okla. — Bands from across northwest Oklahoma will take the field Oct. 1 to participate in the Tri-State Music Festival Marching Contest.

Debbie Lambert, Tri-State director, said the marching contest has been held in the fall the past three years.

“It used to be held during the spring contest, but I’m an old band director and most bands quit marching in December,” Lambert said.

The suggestion to move the contest to the fall was approved and has been successful, she said.

Tri-State officials are planning on 10-12 bands for the contest, all from the northwest quadrant of the state. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Plainsmen Field. The bands will perform their normal football halftime routines as they prepare for the district marching contest the following week in Enid.

Lambert predicted if 10 to 12 bands enter the contest, between 750 and 1,000 kids will come to Enid for the one-day contest.

So far, bands from Ponca City, Blackwell, Alva, Perry and Enid have entered. The deadline for entry is today.

The contest is part of the overall Tri-State Music Festival, which will be April 30 and May 1-2, 2014. In a departure from the past, there will be no Saturday activities at the festival, Lambert said. The annual Million Dollar Parade will be Friday night.

This is the 82nd year for Tri-State Music Festival, which was started by Phillips University and became a community festival. Russell L. Wiley, Phillips University band director, 1928-1934, founded Phillips Band Day in 1932, drawing bands from Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. In 1933, it was termed Tri-State Band Festival, and later became Tri-State Music Festival. At that time it was expanded to include all music groups.

Wiley once commented he did not know where the idea came from, but it emerged after some of the students at Phillips who attended a band festival in southern Oklahoma. The first Phillips Band Day drew about 10 bands.

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