On October 14, the Oskaloosa High School Marching Band achieved a remarkable milestone by securing its 50th consecutive Division I (superior) rating at the Iowa High School Music Association (IHSMA) State Marching Band Festival.
The competition took place at Pella High School, with OHS competing in Class 3A. Bands receive ratings on a scale ranging from Division V to Division I, with Division I being the highest attainable rating. Oskaloosa boasts the second-longest streak in the state of Iowa, surpassed only by Valley High School in West Des Moines.
The OHS Marching Band is led by Director James (Jim) Deprizio.
“Our goal is always to earn a top rating at the state competition, and we never take it for granted,” said Deprizio. “Our students work tirelessly, dedicating themselves to local competitions throughout the fall season to prepare for state. All of the Oskaloosa band directors are incredibly proud of our students’ unwavering dedication and the outstanding results they have achieved.”
The marching band’s other notable accomplishments preparing for the IHSMA event this season include earning first place at the Mt. Pleasant Marching Band Invitational on September 16, as well as at the Davis County Festival of Bands on September 30. The band has also won Best Color Guard (twice), Best Drum Line(twice), and Best Winds (twice)
“We are immensely proud of the standard of excellence that the OHS Marching Band and their dedicated directors consistently maintain,” said Mike Fisher, Superintendent. “Their 50th consecutive Division I rating at state exemplifies the commitment to the quality that our marching band students and staff bring to the community, and we are exceptionally proud of their achievements and how this program engages ALL students to embrace the power of learning.”
Each year in August, OHS Marching Band students begin learning their state routine and dedicate the fall season to refining it through numerous group rehearsals, individual rehearsals, instrument-specific rehearsals, and performances during home football games. The IHSMA State Marching Band Festival marks the conclusion of the marching band season.