Eagle Marching Band
The award-winning EPHS Eagle Marching Band is comprised of 9th through 12th grade students and performs at all home football games, numerous weekend field show competitions, festivals, and parades. They are nationally recognized and compete in numerous competitions in the AAA division in Minnesota. They also travel every year to the Bands of America Super Regional competition in St. Louis, Missouri. In 2015 and 2017, the Eagle Band also competed at BOA Grand Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana.
The band is led by directors Michael Okwabi and Mike Whipkey, with the assistance of an outstanding staff of coordinators, caption heads and section instructors.
The Eagle Marching Band is both curricular and co-curricular, so students receive one regular class credit for participation in the fall quarter. Eagle Band includes students who play woodwinds (all except oboe, English horn, and bassoon), brass, and percussion, and those who participate in the colorguard. Two to three students are also chosen as drum majors to lead the band. Students audition in May and start practicing in mid-July, attend Eagle Band Camp in early August, and kick off their season in August.
EAGLE BAND HISTORY
Em Stark started the marching band in September 1963. The band grew yearly but was discontinued in 1971. It restarted in 1977 and has been active ever since. Stark remained the director of the band until 1986. In 1998, the school had the largest high school band program in Minnesota with total band enrollment exceeding 500 students. The Eagle Band membership was capped at 225 students because that’s the number of uniforms they had.
The EPHS Eagle Marching Band celebrated its 50th anniversary on October 15, 2013. The city of Eden Prairie declared Oct. 28, 2013 Eden Prairie Eagles Marching Band Day.
Auditions are held at various times depending on what section the student is auditioning for. There are three sections:
Hornline: horns and wind instruments
Drumline: marching and grounded percussion
Color Guard: flags, dance, and weapon