For Vikings, it's time to toot their own horns

The Vikings band earned praise from Oregon State's director of bands Erik Leung, who conducted them earlier this year at Siuslaw.

Siuslaw's longest season is already seven months old, with more than two months to go before the Vikings really face the music.

The school's 41-member band, guided by band director Chris Rowbotham, once again has the state championships in their sights.

The Vikings musicians kick it up a notch Tuesday at the Oregon State Band Festival at the LaSells Stewart Center on the Oregon State University campus.

That's also the venue for the Oregon School Activities Association Class 4A band state championships May 14.

"We have three festivals we are attending (ahead of state)," Rowbotham said. "I will be able to give more information after our first festival on the 10th."

SAVE THE DATE: Siuslaw Band Festival and Jazz Concert, 7 p.m. Monday, April 27, Florence Events Center.

Tuesday is a tuneup for the District 7 Band Invitational March 18 at Southwestern Oregon Community College's Hale Center for the Performing Arts in Coos Bay.

The third event is the 39th annual Great Western Music Championships April 3 at Rice Auditorium on the Western Oregon University campus in Monmouth.

Siuslaw fans won't have to always travel to enjoy their Vikings musicians.

"The band concert for the community will be at the Florence Events Center on April 27," Rowbotham said. "We really want to be able to perform our festival music for the community after it has had more time to be polished, and we get feedback from quality judges."

It's something of a redemption tour for the Vikings. Siuslaw was the only school in the state to qualify for the championship year, but wasn't invited.

There were 11 bands that qualified for 10 Class 4A slots.

Rowbotham maintained a stiff upper lip.

"I am looking forward to continuing the progress we have made," he said at the time. "And, with hard work, we can achieve the success that we are working towards."

It's again time for the Vikings to toot their own horns.


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