Fort Calhoun Band at DisneyWorld 2

News about the Pioneer Marching Band!



The Marching season will get off to a start on September 1st as the Pioneer Band returns to the Nebraska State Fair.  The following Monday will see them back on the parade route for the Septemberfest Parade in Omaha.




One word dominated everything:  COVID!   No marching bands at the State Fair, no parades, most field competitions cancelled.  The Band learned a show, just to keep the marching experience intact but it turned out well.  It was presented to the home crowd in an on-campus Marching Exhibition.  The same day a spot became available in one of the few live marching contests, so the Band performed the next week at the Oxbow Marching Invitational hosted by Ashland-Greenwood High School, where they were awarded a SUPERIOR rating.  The band also entered a Virtual Marching contest hosted by NCN (News Channel Nebraska).  NCN went to each school, filmed their show on their home field, and submitted the recordings to the judges.  The Pioneer Band was also awarded a SUPERIOR rating for this performance.  Not a bad season for having about five players in quarantine, including multiple sections leaders, at each of the performances!


The Marching Band started the season off with a new look, displaying our new uniforms at the 10th year of the new State Fair location in Grand Island.  The following week the Pioneers won another Championship trophy at the open class Septemberfest Parade in Omaha.  During the field marching season, the band claimed the Class C Championship at the Links Marching Festival.

Another senior class with straight Ones!  The Pioneer Marching Band earned another Superior Rating at the State Marching Contest on October 26.  This year the band presented the show “Night Watch.”


Congratulations!  The Pioneer Marching Band ended with another Superior Rating at the State Marching Contest at Seacrest Field on October 20.  The theme for this year’s show was “The Music of Cirque du Soleil: QUIDAM.”


The fall marching season started off victorious again with another First Place finish at the open class Septemberfest Parade in Omaha.  As the field show developed, the Band won the Class C Championship at the Links Marching Festival.

Congratulations!  The Pioneer Marching Band earned another Superior Rating at the State Marching Contest on October 21.  This year’s show was entitled “Shades of Latin.”



Congratulations!  The Pioneer Band was once again the winner of the Independence Day Parade in Fairfax, Virginia, on the Fourth of July.

The fall marching season has come to another successful conclusion.  The Band won first place at the open class Septemberfest Parade in Omaha again this season.  We also won the Class Championship at the Links Marching Invitational, and finished the season with another great show at the State Marching Contest, earning a Superior rating.

     “Invincible” ended up Invincible!!

post date 11-2013

Here’s the Press Release we sent out:


FROM:  Mark A. Jones, Director of Bands

RE: State Marching Contest


The final event of the fall season for the Fort Calhoun High School Marching Band was the State Marching Festival, which was held on October 26 at Seacrest Field in Lincoln on the campus of Lincoln East High School.  At the end of the day, the Calhoun Band left Lincoln with one of only three Superior trophies awarded in the Class B competition.  This is the highest award a band can earn at the Festival.  Under the current guidelines, Class championships are not announced in Classes A, B, C, or D.

The Fort Calhoun Band’s 2013 field show was an original composition by Jay Dawson entitled “INVINCIBLE.”  The three-part work presented numerous challenges to the Band.  Mark Jones, Director of Bands at Fort Calhoun, commented:  “Both the music and the drill design were rated at a higher difficulty level than any other show we have ever put on the field.  For starters, almost all of Part One was in ¾ time.  Yes, you can march to ¾ time, but it takes a little getting used to.  Sarah, our drum major, really had her hands full, but she did a superior job.  Not only was there a multitude of time meter changes, but there were other unusual time meters for marching band…3/2, 4/2, and even four or five sections in 5/4.  These same issues, of course, presented marching and playing challenges for everyone in the Band.”

Jones continued:  “All the way around the students just did an absolutely great job out there that evening.  We are really proud of our very high scores in Music General Effect, Music Performance, and also in Marching Individual performance.  We all knew going into the project that the percussion parts were perhaps the most challenging part of the show, and we had a rather “green” percussion section this year.  But their crew got the job done and made it all work this season.  There was just tremendous effort all throughout the Band to pull off this show.  I couldn’t be more pleased!”

The Fort Calhoun Band also received a plaque that night recognizing their 30th year of performing at the State Marching Festival.  (The Festival has been in existence for 31 years.)