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The O'Fallon Township High School Band Program has a rich tradition of performance excellence. The Marching Panthers have participated in numerous national events including three appearances in the Tournament of Roses Parade, three appearances in the Fiesta Bowl Parade, and two appearances in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. The Marching Band has also participated three times in the Orange Bowl Parade and twice in the Boscov's Thanksgiving Day Parade in Philadelphia, along with the Little Neck-Douglaston Memorial Day Parade in Little Neck and Douglaston, NY, the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, TN, the Waikiki Thanksgiving Day Parade in Waikiki Hawaii, and the Disney World Thanksgiving Day Parade in Disney World, Florida. The Marching Band has also entertained for professional sports organizations including multiple times for the St. Louis Baseball Cardinals, five times for the Chicago Bears, and four times for the St. Louis Rams. 

The Marching Panthers have performed at numerous Bands of America Regionals and Super Regionals, being a consistent finalist and Regional Champion at the Clarksville Regional in 2015 and 2018.  The Marching Panthers were a Bands of America Grand Nationals Finalist in 2018 with the show title, “Stretching the Canvas.” 
 
The Band Program also provides for 4 Concert Bands that rehearse during the regular school day. These four bands - the Honors Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic Winds, the Symphonic Band, and the Freshman Band - are auditioned groups based on a student's individual playing ability. These bands together serve as the pep band for several athletic events throughout the year.  These groups present 2-3 concerts per school year as well as participate in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) Organizational Contest and additional statewide festivals. The four Concert Bands have consistently received Division I (Superior) ratings at contest. The Concert Bands performed at Carnegie Hall in New York in May 2014, at the University of Illinois Superstate Festival, and at the Music For All National Festival in 2016.   

 
Additionally, there are many other small group opportunities for performance. Our Jazz Ensemble meets as an early bird class at the Smiley Campus daily, second semester.  The freshman students have their own jazz band that meets during the band class period at the Milburn Campus.  There is an offering of a jazz combo that meets afterschool and serves as a group that performs at local community events.  The jazz program performs at our O’ That Jazz event, along with several other local festivals.  The Madrigal Brass group accompanies the Madrigal singers and cast during the annual Madrigal Dinner held during the winter holidays. There are other opportunities for performance including the Musical PitShow Choir Pit, Flute Choir, and several additional chamber groups. 
 
On an individual level, students are encouraged to audition for the Illinois Music Educators Association (ILMEA) District Festival. The very best Sophomores, Juniors and Seniors from our area are selected to participate in the ILMEA All-State Convention held annually in Peoria, Illinois. Additionally, students are encouraged to prepare for and participate in the IHSA Solo & Ensemble Contest.  Students from these bands have participated in the IHSA Solo Ensemble Contest, earning overall sweepstakes points to be consistently ranked top 3 in Class AA.  In addition, two chamber groups have been selected and performed at the Music For All Chamber Festival in 2019. 
 

Auditions for OTHS Concert Band 

Auditions for Concert Band placement consist of ILMEA excerptsThese placement auditions occur towards the conclusion of the second semester and serve as a grade for the students along with chair and band placement. 
 

Auditions for ILMEA District Festival 

Auditions for ILMEA District Festival consist of a scale page, a prepared etude, and sight-reading. All information for ILMEA can be found on the ILMEA website (ilmea.org).  ILMEA has audition opportunities in jazz, future music educators, and composition.  ILMEA auditions occur for our district, District 6 in mid-October with the festivals being held on Saturdays in November. 
 

General Schedule Information 

The O'Fallon High School Band Program is a year-round Program. Beginning in mid-March, the Marching Band begins parade rehearsals and throughout June, the band rehearses during the week and performs in local community parades on Saturdays and/or Sundays. The Summer parade season culminates with the VP Fair Parade, a competitive parade held in St. Louis during the July 4th weekend. The Marching Panthers have won the Liberty Drum Challenge and the $5000 first prize for over twenty-five years. 
 
Following the VP Parade, the schedule slows down for a few weeks before students return to the High School to begin preparing for the Fall Marching Band season. The Marching Band members take part in a Music Camp followed by a seven-day Band Camp where the field show is taught and refined in preparation for the competitive season.  Percussion and Colorguard have two days of rehearsal prior to the beginning of Band Camp.  All of these rehearsals are held at OTHS. 
 
Within the first few weeks of August, a new school year has begun and the Band Program is still in full swing. The Concert Bands rehearse daily during the school day, while the Field Marching Band rehearses at least two days per week after school including a Wednesday evening practice from 6 - 9 PM. The Marching Panthers participate in 6-7 marching contests per year and serves as the host of the Metro-East Marching Band Classic held at the OTHS Panther Athletic Complex. In mid-November, the activities of the Marching Band diminish significantly and the Concert Bands, Jazz Bands, Pep Band, and Chamber Groups move into focus.  During the marching band season, ILMEA auditions occur, along with a concert band concert for the program. 
 

Conclusion 

The O'Fallon High School Band Program is a cooperative effort on the part of the Directors, Staff, Administration, and School Board as well as the O’Fallon Panther Band Boosters. The goal is simple - to provide a first-class musical experience for all members. The Band Program also takes on the added responsibility of being the musical ambassadors and representatives of O'Fallon High School and the city of O'Fallon. 
 
 

Other Information 

Contact 

For questions regarding the O'Fallon High School Band Program, please feel free to contact Director of Bands: 
Melissa Gustafson-Hinds 
Gustafson-HindsM@oths.us 
(618) 632-3507 x272