Oshkosh Community Invited to Oshkosh West Band Centennial Celebration, May 13-14

posted May 10, 2019, 7:21 AM by Katie Nieman
The Oshkosh community is invited to celebrate 100 years of musical success with the Oshkosh West High School Bands. To celebrate its one hundred year history, the Oshkosh West Bands will be presenting two concerts as part of its Centennial Celebration on May 13, 2019, and May 14, 2019. Both concerts will take place at 8 p.m. in the Alberta Kimball Auditorium. There is no cost to attend.

On Monday, May 13 the Oshkosh West Bands Concert will begin at 8 p.m. and will include three ensembles. The West Wildcat Band will perform the world premiere of the band arrangement of Oshkosh Fire March, the 1875 march written for piano to commemorate the Great Fire of 1875 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. An Alumni Band will take also take the stage, featuring Oshkosh High School and Oshkosh West High School band alumni from 1962 to 2018. All alumni are invited to participate and can sign-up through the school’s website, bit.ly/OWBCentennial. Lastly, the West Wind Ensemble will perform the world premiere of a new band piece written specifically for the Centennial Celebration by the internationally recognized composer, Dr. Jack Stamp. Funding for this commission was provided through a grant from SOAR.

On Tuesday, May 14 the Oshkosh West Band Concert will begin at 8 p.m. and will include two ensembles. The West Concert Band will perform the Oshkosh High School Alumni March composed in 1931 by band member Edgar Sherman (Class of 1933). The West Varsity Band will conclude the concert with a performance of Salvation is Created by Pavel Tchesnokov, an important piece of Oshkosh band history.

Throughout the 2018-2019 school year, Oshkosh West High School has been celebrating 100 years of high school band in Oshkosh. The Centennial Celebration aims to bring the Oshkosh community together to celebrate the rich history of the program and its impact in the Oshkosh community. 

Oshkosh West High School’s band program has more than doubled in size over the last decade and a half and has become one of the largest in the state of Wisconsin, totaling 250 band students. Band offerings include four concert bands, a jazz ensemble, two pep bands, a parade marching band, a field-show marching band, and multiple chamber groups. Oshkosh West offers four curricular concert bands including Wind Ensemble, Varsity Band, Concert Band, and the one-hundred-plus member Wildcat Band, consisting of mostly freshman and upperclassmen mentors.

Each of the four concert bands meet daily for 48 minutes and are team-taught by both Dan Singer and Brian Wilson. Concert bands perform three formal concerts each year. The district-wide field-show marching band rehearses starting in August and performs at the Oshkosh West football homecoming game each fall. The parade marching band performs in the fall at two holiday parades, including the Appleton Christmas Parade, the midwest’s largest nighttime Christmas parade, and in the spring at the Oshkosh Memorial Day Procession. All band students participate in solo and ensemble activities in the winter and spring months. The bands travel regularly and have recently been to Chicago, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Walt Disney World, and Universal Studios. 

Recently, the hardworking students of the Oshkosh West bands landed some incredible achievements at Carroll University performing at the WSMA large group festival in April. All four of the concert bands performed for judges in the most difficult class of music. Varsity Band received a high second division rating, Wildcat Band and Concert Band received a first division rating, and Wind Ensemble received a high first division rating.  With these results, Oshkosh West is the only school in the state to send four bands to contest in the most difficult class and return with three of the highest ratings possible. For more information visit www.OshkoshWestBands.com.