The 728 Cadets swept top honors in the Vikingland Marching Band Festival, regarded as the biggest and most prestigious such event in the state, Sunday in Alexandria.
The Cadets also captured honors at Osseo on Saturday as the 94-strong group representing Elk River, Rogers and Zimmerman continued a very successful season.
At Vikingland, the Cadets were Grand Champion and Class 4A champion, each for the first time in their six-year history, and had Best Color Guard as well.
This is the summer’s largest and longest-running festival, in its 29th year, with an estimated 20,000 spectators, according to a 728 Cadets press release.
“This weekend the Cadets found a new level,” said Tom Gallus, director of the 728 Cadets. “The staff always knew what these kids are capable of, but it took some extra digging from the students to find what it really means to perform with true heart and emotion. I couldn’t be more proud of these kids.”
At the Osseo Marching Band Festival, the Cadets tied Mankato’s 77 Lancers for the Grand Champion and 3A champion awards, among 14 bands, while also capturing Best Color Guard and Best Drumline.
Also on Saturday, the Cadets were second place in Class 3A at St. Cloud’s Granite City Days Parade and again had Best Color Guard.
The Cadets’ production, “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.
July 4: Apple Valley Freedom Days
July 6: Heritage Days Grande Parade, Starbuck
July 11: Maple Grove Days
July 13: Litchfield Watercade Grand Parade
July 19: Sherburne County Fair, Elk River