728 Cadets had a Grand weekend at Owatonna and Waconia

Keelin Dungan (left) and Jordan Lausing of the Color Guard marched with the Cadets at Owatonna.


The 728 Cadets Marching Band won a pair of Grand Champion awards last Saturday, at Owatonna’s Harry Wenger Marching Band Festival and the Lake Waconia Band Festival.

With both festivals drawing top marching bands from around the state,  the 728 Cadets earned 11 awards, including Class AAA first place and Grand Champion at both events, with their Wizard of Oz-inspired production called “A Simple Gift.”

Nick Campbell, Jacqueline Gaetz, and Jake Esterberg accept awards for the 728 Cadets.

Consisting of of 94 students from Elk River, Rogers and Zimmerman, the 728 Cadets also received the Owa-Tonia Grand Champion Award for the best overall combined score at both events, a People’s Choice award, and plaudits for best drumline, color guard, marching and maneuvering, and wind section.

This group in its sixth year has built a reputation as one of the best marching bands in the state. Their stated goal is “to equip their members with the highest level of education in percussion, musicianship and life skills.”

A Simple Gift,” marries elements of music performance, marching techniques, and theatre, and depicts the timeless tale of the Wizard of Oz’ character, the Tin Man, receiving a gift of his greatest desire, a heart.
The production is directed by Tom Gallus, and features music from Chorale and Shaker Dance by John Zdechlik.  Gallus’ team of directors includes Mike Reed (music), Sarah Gallus (color guard), Jared Peterson (color guard assistant) and Joe Jaeger (drumline).

(Information was received from 728 Cadets boosters. Photos were taken by Cindy Martin.)


728 Cadets schedule

June 19 — Foley Fun Days
June 22 — Rockin’ Rogers Days
June 24 — Rosefest (Roseville)
June 29 — Granite City Days (St. Cloud)
June 29 — Osseo Marching Band Festival
June 30— Vikingland Band Festival (Alexandria)
July 4 — Apple Valley Freedom Days
July 6 — Heritage Days Grande Parade (Starbuck)
July 11 — Maple Grove Days
July 13 — Litchfield Watercade
July 19 — Sherburne County Fair (Elk River)