Omaha’s Westview High band begins to take shape – The Omaha News
Omaha News

Omaha’s Westview High band begins to take shape – The Omaha News

By: Jackson Piercy

OMAHA, Neb. – Since the doors first opened in 2022, Omaha’s Westview High has had to build all its programs from scratch. Band director of Westview High, Doug Bogatz, knew this feeling well. 

“It’s been an interesting experience, to say the least,” Bogatz said. “It’s been very fulfilling. The kids have been working super hard. We have pretty much needed to build everything up, and I mean everything.” 

Having built up a program from literally nothing, Bogatz pulled from the philosophies of UCLA basketball coach, John Wooden, told his students that the quality of the product on the field begins with details as simple as how they wear their socks. 

“No detail is too small, we have a process and a method to everything,” Bogatz said. “We have definitely made strides in the last year in getting that closer to what it needs to be.” 

The 2023-2024 iteration of Westview High’s band, located in Omaha, NE. (Photo/Jackson Piercy)

The 2022 season began with some complications in terms of the band’s constitution. The 2023 band topped off at around 50 members, compared to the previous year’s iteration at around twelve. With small numbers came difficulty in creating elaborate shapes on the football field, but off the field, as saxophonist, Will Cameron said, it created relationships that will last. 

“It’s amazing,” Cameron said. “Since we have such a small band, we’re all super close. We all know everything about each other. Which can be a good thing, and a bad thing.” 

A student working on her auditions for the Nebraska All-State Band. (Photo/Jackson Piercy)

When people look to build a culture from the outside in, as winds captain, Morgan Blackstone looked to do, it is not just keeping the insular people in, but reaching out a hand to new freshmen. 

“It was mostly just the ten of us that were always together, then it was mostly the freshmen, that were kinda just like, uhh, so we’d have to make sure we’d incorporate them,” Blackstone said. 

In terms of progress, having moved from years one to two can be difficult to measure, as newer and smaller bands do not get traditional scores like larger schools do. However, in only their second year, Westview had found themselves already within the top 20 scoring bands within the state.

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