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Disclaimer: information in this article is taken from yearbooks


Big Blue Band

Not every great band has to have 76 trombones as the Shidler "Big Blue Band" has proven since 1935.

Shidler High School has been well represented through the years. Many good times have left pleasant memories for band students. They may remember director Kenneth Smith's love for trains, or director Steve Williams' always wearing sweaters and being a few minutes late. They will remember the fun of playing the school song, even though they also remember marching through rain, snow, sleet and the dark of night keeping up school spirit. No one will forget the Shidler Big Blue Band.


1935 As the old saying goes "quality is not gained by quantity," and Floyd Weger, the director, was very pleased to have his orchestra walk away with 2nd place honors at both Ark Valley Conference and Northern Oklahoma. The band of 1935 topped off their year when the 20-member group entertained the Odd Fellows and Rebecca convention in Denoya.

From 1935, we jump to 1945 and 1946, when Ashley Alexander directed the band.

1947 brought Keith Morrison as director.

1948 was a really great year for Shidler band fans. Keith Morrison was the director and the band boasted 56 members in which 29 had never been in band. Six students made up a hilarious amateur group. They were Joe Rash, Barton Ward, Keith Churchill, Bob Marshall, Keith Morrison and Sam Harris, Three Drips and a Drop. This group provided hilarious entertainment on numerous occasions. They won a prize of $20.00 in an amateur contest in Caney, KS. The band, always active, has had an unusually busy year. Besides playing at all home football games and most of the out-of-town games they have participated in many other events. Outstanding among them were; Osage County Fair, Pawhuska; Cherokee Strip parade in Ponca City; Fal-fro-lic parade in Shidler; Caney, Kansas Armistice Day celebration which was considered their most outstanding performance of  the year; O.M.E.A. 16th Annual Band Clinic at Stillwater; and Christmas vesper service at Shidler with the vocal department. New uniforms have been ordered and will arrive in time for participation in spring contests.

1949 brought Mr. B. F. Ellis to director the 45 piece band. The band started the year practicing pep songs and marching formations which adds so much to football games. The band participated in the Osage County Fair, the Cherokee Strip Celebration, the annual Fal-fro-lic, and the district contest held in Tonkawa. In addition to these activities, the annual band concert was given in late January. Members participating in the All-State Band Clinic were Joe Rash, Marvin Bookout, Wilma Kephart, and Juana Spindle.

1950 The band was one of the first organizations to begin activities in the fall. Since a football game was scheduled the second week school it was necessary for the band to present pep numbers and marching formations without much practice. However, under the capable direction of Mr. Ellis and Peggy Deason, drum majorette, it preformed with skill and precision, and was responsible for much of the pep throughout the season.  The band played for assemblies, led parades and gave formal concerts.  In the Christmas festival at Hominy, Oklahoma, the band won first prize of $25.00. “The Band Played On” in the Cherokee Strip parade in Ponca City, at the county fair in Pawhuska, and in the Christmas parade in Fairfax. Because Peggy Deason, drum majorette, was a senior, tryouts were held to find her replacement. J.D. Parker, Delma Jean Savage, Carrie Stroup, Mary K. Ross, and Kim Ellis put in many long hard hours of practice. Mr. Hiram Henry from Oklahoma A. & M. College, Stillwater came to judge the final performance of the candidates. Kim Ellis was declared the winner but the contest was very close. The band had 55 members this year and lived up to the high reputation already established by the organization in former years.

In 1951 the Shidler band was represented in the state finals at Norman, where the saxophone quartet received a third division rating and Kim Ellis received a second division rating in bass horn solo. Kim Ellis received an invitation to play in the Tri-state band festival at Enid. This band was made up of outstanding high school students from seven states under the batons of nationally known directors. The band plans to attend the Pawnee parade, Marshall festival, district contest in Tonkawa, and state finals in Stillwater.  The band is working hard this year to receive first place for the fourth consecutive year in the Pawnee parade. Also a first rating at Marshall and a superior rating in concert playing in district and state contest. The band has a lot of young members this year and Mr. Ellis is teaching them the fundamentals of music, the mechanics of their instruments, and how to play simple tunes, so that in the next few years they will become top bandsmen. Three members of the band have been recommended to play in the Southwest Regional National Music Educators all conference band, under the baton of Paul Lavalle, director of the nationally famous Band of America. Those chosen were Barbara Dozier, Peggy Ellis and Kim Ellis.

1952 Mr. Ellis The band participated in the Tulsa parade followed by the state marching contest. The band received a II division or “excellent” rating. In the district contest in Tonkawa the band received a II division in concert which qualified them for the state finals contest in Stillwater. In this final contest the band earned another II division. In the fall the “Tiger” band becomes an important cog in the Athletic Department     . Many fine shows and precision marching routines are put on display for the delight of the football fans at half time of all games both home and away. Due to conflicts in scheduling the band did not enter the Tri-state band festival in Enid. Two soloist were entered, Jimmie LaBorde,  coronet and Kim Ellis, bass. Both received a “Superior” rating. Kim played bass in the Tri-state band for second consecutive year. If it’s music you want the “Tiger” band is always ready with either popular or classical numbers.


1953 Mr. Ellis was proud to have four of his band members to go to All-State. Carmen Ward made the band a beautiful queen that year. All-State members were Connie Vann, Joanne Walker, Judy Hale and Stanley Betzer. The Shidler Tiger band ranks well at the top with other high school bands in Northern Oklahoma. The band made a very fine appearance in the Cherokee Strip Parade in Ponca City. This spring the band will again compete in the Pawnee festival as well as the District meet where they hope to qualify for State competition. The band is truly an active organization and performs equally well in concert or on the march. “The best band from the best high school in the state of Oklahoma”. That is our slogan.

1954 Mr. Ellis Spring schedule for the Tiger band was the Pawnee parade  where a high rating was received. Then on to the Kingfisher festival where a near “clean sweep” was made in Class A. First place in marching and concert and second place in the open street parade contest  sent the band home in a very happy mood. In the district contest at Tonkawa the kids let their press clippings get the best of them. Net result a III Division which did not qualify for the State finals. Anxious to get back on the beam the band scored a superior rating in marching at the “World Series” of band contests, the Tri-State Festival in Enid. Under the new leadership of a new drum major and Assistant the “Tiger” band is continuing to live up to its slogan this year. In the north central regional marching contest held at Ponca City in the fall the band again received an Excellent rating needing only .3 of 1 percent for a Superior. The spring schedule will find the band competing in several festivals and striving to bring more honors Shidler High.

1955 Mr. Ellis  The “Tiger” band has been troubled with growing pains since the opening of school last fall. At present there are 61 members, the largest band to represent Shidler High School in several years. With the addition of several new uniforms, and a lot of hard work during the past winter months, the band hopes to enter several  spring festivals, climaxed by the  Queen Coronation concert here at home. Of course, the Big One is to be able to represent Shidler High School in the State Finals competition in Stillwater. Who knows, maybe we will have to add another trophy case this year since the old one is full and over flowing. As always, we are proud to represent Shidler and the “Field” and hope to bring back many honors.    Four attended All-State. They were Ginger Bonewell, Jacki Thompson, Sue Spiva and Stan Betzer. The band elected Jean Edwards as band queen.

1956 Mr. C. Elton Clelland directed a band of 73 members. The band made appearances in parades in Pawhuska, Hominy and Ponca City. At the Cherokee Strip exhibition they had the honor of playing in a mass concert directed by the great Paul LaValle. Each year the Tiger band features all football games and highlights the Homecoming ceremonies.

1957 Max V. Fox

1958 showed Jimmie Markle in the director's chair with 63 band members.

1959 Steve Williams took over the band and held the director's job until 1964.

1960 Steve Williams The band had 52 members. They were proud to wear brand new uniforms, the first new ones for 20 years.

In 1961 Steve Williams The 72 member band elected Cheryl Mayberry as band queen. Start of the “Blue Notes” stage band.

1962 Steve Williams and 1963 the membership slipped to an average of 55 members.

1964 Steve Williams The roll count jumped to 64. SHIDLER’S BIG BLUE marching band topped its season by rating the only Superior in regional marching contest, Class DD. The concert band highlights included the Christmas concert and the annual spring festival. Through hard work and co-operation our band has earned and preserved a top-rate reputation.

1965 brought Kenneth Smith to the director's position with 58 students in the band.

1966 The membership in grew to 60 with James Dean as director. The Shidler High School band has been very faithful to its school and students this past year. The “Big Blue” has participated in many activities, including football games, parades and contests and have proven good in all their endeavors. The pep band has been kind enough to perform at all home football games. The Blue Notes have provided music for dancing at sock hops. Yes, the Shidler Blue Band has once again proven itself to Shidler and its people.

1967 From the season’s opening football game to the April 8 marching contest in Pawnee, the Shidler High School Big Blue Band, under the direction of Charles Garner, has been an active representative of the school. Another pinnacle came at the Edmond Homecoming Parade, the first contest the band attended. For placing second in the competition, they awarded a trophy. The climax came during the Edmond game when the winners of the contest were announced at the half and the Shidler band discovered it had placed first in its division. 66 members make up the band. This is a marked increase from last years membership. When asked about next years prospects, Mr. Garner speculated that the band will probably expand.  Later in the year came the Ponca City Marching contest and Northern District Music contest at Tonkawa. “Participating in a high school band is more than learning to play a musical instrument. It is learning following orders, getting along with others and self-discipline. Although the school year was nearly over the band was by no means letting up on their efforts to improve. Mr. Garner started the band on the first division band course, which is designed to help the individual members.

1968 showed Charles Garner directing his 44 students. They once more proudly wore stylish new uniforms. The high school band played at the Tulsa State Fair. Here they marched in the parade and completed the day at the fair. A brass sextet composed of Mike Divall, Ronnie Oaks, Craig Andrews, Roger Walker and Scott Robertson received a “I” rating at districts, regional and state on their number “Sourwood Mountain”. Spring tour included a trip to Ralston and Burbank performing various type of music as a stage band and the entire band. The band attended the Stilwell Strawberry Festival and had a pleasure trip to a resort on Lake Tenkiller. In addition to learning how to play an instrument, band students learn much about showmanship. Good grooming is essential to a well-outfitted band. Students arise early to be properly attired for band trips which take them all over the state. However at times there isn’t enough time at home to “tease” the bouffant hairdos so this frequently is done enroute! Band uniforms are expensive therefore, much care is necessary to keep them in good condition. They are cleaned and brushed frequently in order that they will look nice and wear well. Mr. Charles Garner, administrators, and the board of education members spent a great deal of time selecting the new uniforms. Mr. Garner made several trips in person to see that the school was getting just what they wanted. Before any uniforms were definitely selected several were ordered on approval, modeled and looked over thoroughly by school officials before a decision was made as to which would serve the best purpose.


1969 37 members were directed by Mr. Bill Hendricks. This year’s high school band played at every football game of the season. This included both home and away games. The high school band traveled to Tonkawa and later to Tulsa to participate in the Tulsa State Fair Parade. At Christmas, the musicians gave a Christmas program that held a western theme. The band and chorus appeared twice before the grade school students in an afternoon matinee and at night before local citizens. Later in the year the band gave their annual concert.


1970 Mr. Loy Kidwell, directing. This year's Big Blue Band has a total of 51 members. The band does it part by boosting school spirit by playing lively tunes for pep assemblies. On the days of many of the important sporting events, the band, the cheerleaders, the team and student body get together to whip up some enthusiasm, and promote a feeling  of loyalty among all the students. The band pleased the football crowds with its halftime shows, played a Christmas concert for the student body and the PTA, earned a I rating in concert, playing at Edmond, and brought home a II from the District contest at NOC. They also played a half day concert tour and a spring concert. Mr. Loy Kidwell, in his first year as band director at SHS, has worked the group into a fine performing organization, of which the school and community can be proud.

1971 Loy Kidwell, director

1972 Loy Kidwell, director

1973 Louis Jarrett, director

1974 Loy Kidwell, director

1975 Loy Kidwell, director

1976 Loy Kidwell, director

1977 Duncan Coons, director

1978 Duncan Coons, director

1979 Duncan Coons, director Second place trophy won in the Perry Parade

1980 Duncan Coons, director. The Tiger band had a different sound and image this year. They performed as a smaller group as compared to last year but had a new sound as the percussion section received tri-toms, which were played by Kelly Sires. New hats and uniform cords improved the appearance of the band. When asked what was different about this year over last year, Mr. Coons said “I think we have more enthusiasm!” The Big Blue Band made a Superior rating in districts at Tonkawa, going on to state at OSU to make an “excellent”. The band also preformed at their usual events such as half-time, Christmas concert and spring concert.

1981 Kathy Eby, director

1982 Kathy Eby, director

1983 Kathy Eby, director

1984 Kathy Eby, director

1985 Kathy Eby, director. The marching band received third place in the Tulsa State Fair parade and an excellent rating in the regional marching contest.

1986 Kathy Eby, director. The high school band started out well this year with the motto: “Success is achieving the goals we set out to reach.” So far the band has done just that. The Shidler band has participated in the Tulsa State Fair Parade and the OSU Homecoming parade. Next they went to Fairfax for their Christmas parade and then back to Shidler for another parade. The band had quite a crowd for their Christmas Concert, complete with Santa and four Reindeer! Honors band tryouts were held in January and seven out of seven students made it. Band played at all home football games and one away game and also some of the home basketball home games. Band played at the Muscular Dystrophy Benefit and will play again at the Spring Concert. Pre-district contests are scheduled for March 22, and state contest is soon following. The Shidler Band is planning on being at both and is aiming at a ONE at State

1987 Kathy Eby, director

1988 Kathy Eby, director. Band Honors I at Pre-District, District; District Sight Reading and State Sight Reading, III State Concert Contest

1989 Kathy Eby, director

1990 Melissa Agee, director

1991 Melissa Agee, director

1992 Melissa Agee, director


1994 Sheryl Jones, director

1995 Sheryl Jones, director

1996 Sheryl Jones, director. The high school band stayed busy this year  showing school spirit and attending various competitions. They accepted an invitation to attend the OSU band day where they marched at half time with other area bands. Jessica Emerson, Wanda Johnston and Kevin McConaghy were chosen to attend honors band. Alson, students played solos and duets at district contest. Charlie Riff was rated I-Superior and advanced to State contest. Way to go band!

1997 Sheryl Jones, director

1998 Sheryl Jones, director

1999 Sheryl Jones, director

2000 Clay Lichtenberger, director

2001 Clay Lichtenberger, director

2002 Zack Hawkins, director

2003 Zack Hawkins, director

2004 Zack Hawkins, director. Amber Johnston traveled to Weatherford to participate in “All Senior Honor Band”. Amber tried out for chairs and received 4th chair out of 20 flutes. Students that participated were seniors throughout the state of Oklahoma. Six members traveled to NOC in Tonkawa to participate the “NOC Honors Band”. The band members tried out for chairs, all receiving high achievements. Patches and certificates were received.

2005 Zack Hawkins, director. Our band received new uniforms this year. The old ones were really out of date and the new one make us look together and more professional even though we will always be the Band Nerds that we are!

2006 Mr. Burns, director

2007 Mr. Burns, director

2008 Bill Highland, director

2009 Bill Highland, director. This year the Shidler Pep Band played at every home Woodland game because our football team co-oped  with the Woodland Cougars. They learned the Woodland school song, which was appreciated by all the fans at the game who hadn’t heard their victory song played in several years. In the playoffs, the band traveled to Salina and Talihina, enjoying hours of bus rides and bitter cold weather, to support the football team. We’d like to thank those who supported the music program and Mr. Highland, who as long as there is an audience, was willing to play.

2010 Bill Highland, director. Small numbers but big noise is the perfect way to describe the Shidler High School Pep Band. The band attended every home game during the football and basketball seasons supporting our girls and boys by playing their hearts out every time out, half-time or any chance they get.


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