The Pride of Aurora Houn’ Dawg Marching Band has been very busy in the last week. On Saturday, October 7, the band pulled the double, competing in two separate marching competitions.

The first was at Valhalla, the annual event hosted by Parkview High School. It was a windy and rainy morning for the band. When members took the field in preliminary competition, there was a steady 10 mile per hour wind that would gust to 25 miles per hour. The band took this in stride and performed a solid routine.

Everything was going as planned until about seven minutes into the performance when it starting raining pretty heavily, but the band played as though it was bright and the sun was shining; the only way you could tell it was raining was the synthesizer was being covered in plastic so as not get wet.

With the early morning taken care of, the band and boosters loaded everything back up and headed to Missouri State to participate in the Ozarko Marching Band Competition. The sun finally came out, and the weather turned warm as the band unloaded and dried its equipment.

Band members took the field for the preliminary competition and preformed well. Right after their performance was the awards ceremony for the Maroon and White Classes. The band brought home caption awards for Outstanding Drum Major and Outstanding Visual. The Pride Band finished second overall with Skiatook High School from Oklahoma taking first.

Having secured a spot in the finals, drum majors Kendall Meyer and Katie White went back to Valhalla for the awards ceremony. The band finished second again, behind only Sullivan High School, who took the top spot.

With two solid performances under its belt, the band started warming up to take the field in the finals at Ozarko. The band preformed well in the finals competition securing a third place finish, with the final scores coming in close:

Eighth place: Cassville, 59.15 Seventh place: Logan-Rogersville, 59.70 Sixth place: Odessa, 61.80 Fifth place: School of the Osage, 63.05 Fourth place: Hollister, 64.85 Third place: Aurora, 65.70 Second place: Sullivan, 65.90 First place: Skiatook, 66.00

The difference in the top three bands was minimal at best, with The Houn’ Dawg Band playing the best it had all season.

The band then went to Mt. Vernon on Tuesday for the first of what the school hopes will become an annual event. Back came the rain and the wind, and it was a cold night for the band and boosters, as it drizzled nearly the entire afternoon and evening. When the group took the field to start the Class 4 competition, it was 50 degrees and windy, but the band did what it always does -- laid down the gauntlet for the other bands in the class with another great performance.

When the night was over, the band had claimed caption awards for Best Music, Best Percussion and Best Drum Major. Director Erin Smith's band also took home the People’s Choice Award for best performance, and topped it all off with a First Place trophy in Class 4.

The band's next performance will be Friday night at the varsity football game verses McDonald County. Then on Sunday, the concert band and junior high and high school choirs will perform a pops concert in the high school gymnasium at 2 p.m. The final competition of the year will be in Carthage on Saturday, October 21.