Confined hallways were filled with brightly-colored outfits and feathered caps extending high into the air as eager marching band students weaved throughout the Casper Events Center and around scattered instruments laying on the concrete floor Oct. 13.

As upcoming school performances were announced over the loud speaker, the flurry of musicians quickly found their seats to watch and support fellow marching band programs from around the state during last weekend’s State Marching Band Festival.

In his first year as the head high school director, Tim Painter couldn’t be more proud of how his group performed in front of the packed audience. Following their performance late in the evening Oct. 13, the Douglas High School marching band received a 2 - an excellent rating, and extremely close to earning a superior.

“We were three points away from a superior,” Painter said Monday. “We improved 15 points from last year. The band is getting bigger and better. . . it’s fantastic. I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids. It’s an honor to share music with them.”

It all began months ago during summer break. That is when students picked out music and whittled song selections down to what they, and Painter, believed would be something they could perform with pride at the state marching band gathering.

“For three or four months, we are hitting the grind stone hard,” Painter said. “Students take ownership and decide the show they want to do. It’s their show.”

Between countless solo hours of practice on their own, other sport commitments and a willingness to practice outside in a Wyoming snow storm days before the state event, Painter says students put a lot of work into making the show a success.

The hard work paid off. The Bearcat Marching Band marched in near perfect steps and hit their notes properly to gain high praise from the audience.

“Other directors and kids from other bands were impressed,” Painter said of Douglas’ show. “For the most part the students were very proud of their performance.”

Another positive to come from the show was the turnout of Douglas support, Painter added, stating that athletes from various fall sports came to Casper to cheer them on after the band has supported them with their games all season long.

“It was great to see them support us,” Painter said. “I think we did Douglas proud.”

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