Friday night might be for football, but this Saturday night was for the marching bands at Cougar Stadium at College of the Canyons.
Thousands of students, musicians and parents descended upon the stadium for the 36th year in a row to watch and compete in William S. Hart High School Regiment’s 2019 Rampage marching band and field tournament, in which West Ranch High School won the overall sweepstakes award.
Rampage is basically a marching band competition, but it’s also the Hart band’s biggest fundraiser of the year, according to Hart band director Anthony Bailey.
“One of the things that we’ve really tried to do is make it more than a competitive event,” said Bailey. “We’ve tried to make it something that the kids really enjoy coming to.”
Over the years, the event has added a larger variety of concessions, prizes that audience members can win and a raffle ticket fundraiser that includes baskets and items from local businesses and establishments.
“A lot of our fans that come here, come here because it is different in every way,” Bailey said. “Like the way we have our product sales, to the type of food that we sell … we just tried to make it an event for kids so they have a good time coming and are able to see great bands.”
According to officials, more than 30 bands were in attendance at the event, with six William S. Hart Union High School District bands competing in the tournament. The event, including the competition set that Hart High School performed later in the night, is something that the students and parents prepare for all year.
“We’re always trying to figure out what we’re going to do for the next year that’s going to set the kids up for success,” said Bailey.
“I’m just really excited for my kids this year,” Bailey added. “They tend to think really well competitively and their audience reaction to our show is just tremendous.”
Bailey said he was appreciative of the community for supporting the event every year.
“The only thing I can say is I really appreciate the support of our community, and especially College of the Canyons for being so generous to let us use their facilities and we really couldn’t do it without the community support,” said Bailey. “It really takes an army to put on this event and we’re just really appreciative of everybody.”
Although Hart High School had the highest scores of the night, as the host school, its band does not claim any awards, so West Ranch High School won sweepstakes, according to Bailey.