Tonasket band earns Lilac Parade Gold Standard

SPOKANE – The Tonasket High School Marching Tiger Band and Flag Corps not only performed at Spokane’s Armed Forces Lilac Parade on Saturday, May 19, they came home having earned the parade’s Gold Standard, awarded to schools that meet a broad range of criteria.

To earn the Lilac Gold Standard, the band, including the flag corps, needed to meet at least eight out of 11 standards as adjudicated by a pair of judges in the first two blocks of the parade route. Bands were competing against a standard, not one another.

One judge observed musical quality: quality of sound, clarity of rhythm, musicality (expression and dynamics), ensemble skills (blend and balance), and percussion.

The other observed the band’s visuals: marching technique, ranks files and intervals, the flag corps, general spirit, musical audience appeal and overall audience appeal.

“We can be proud of these students for the musical performance, and the positive way they represent our school and community,” said Tonasket band director Patti Middleton.

“The band sounded awesome,” said flag corps director Elaina Halvorsen. “(The flags) really did a great job. I told Patti that I am so proud of them all, taking it so serious and doing such a great job.

“I got choked up about two-thirds of the way through the parade, watching how each one was so focused and trying so hard. People have kept telling me how classy, modest, attractive and pretty the flag girls are and what a wonderful compliment they are to the band.”

The band will march for the final time this school year in the Tonasket Founders Day Parade on June 2, and perform a concert in the high school commons on June 4.