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Yahoo! Calgary Stampede Showband 7-time world champs

The Calgary Stampede Showband at WAMSB 2023 World Championship Finals in West Virginia .

Fresh from a busy week at the Calgary Stampede, the Calgary Stampede Showband has placed first at the 2023 World Association of Marching Show Bands (WAMSB) World Championship Finals.

“We worked hard. We have really great students that join this group,” said Josh Malate, program co-ordinator of the Calgary Stampede Showband.  “We have great volunteers that work with us and we have the support of the Calgary Stampede behind this ensemble.”

The win gives the Calgary Stampede Showband the distinction of being seven-time World Champions after winning the World Field Show Championship event.

The showband was competing in the World Championships in Buckhannon, W. Va., which included a full roster of marching and concert competitions plus a week-long community festival.

“It’s been a lot of fun. We get to see groups from all over the world,” said Malate. “We spent the morning with a group from Switzerland and a group from France. Our main competition was a group from Taiwan.”

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The Calgary Stampede Showband was created in 1971 to serve as the musical ambassadors for the Calgary Stampede.

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The group features over 140 performers between the ages of 16 and 21 and performs year-round making over 200 appearances annually.

“Why do we want to put on a great show for the audience? We want to put on a great program for the students that join our ensemble, and the fact that we might win a few titles, that’s just icing on the cake,” said Malate.

Bria Laurendeau, a member of the colour guard of the Calgary Stampede Showband, said that the band and the musicians involved mean a lot to her and many others.

“For a lot of the members in this band, this is their family,” she said. “And every time they come to band, it’s like being at home. I know that’s how it is for me. Especially coming out to the U.S. and seeing a whole bunch of people that feel the same way as us — it’s like a huge family here.”

Laurendeau said she is very proud of what the band has accomplished.

“I feel amazing (but the) work isn’t over yet,” she said. “But it’s nice to be able to celebrate.

“It’s nice to be able to celebrate all the hard work we put in so far.”

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The Calgary Stampede Showband has two more performances in the U.S. before returning to Calgary on July 31.

The Calgary Stampede Showband participated for the fourth time in the prestigious Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif. on Jan. 1, 2019.

The WAMSB is an international non-profit organization dedicated to helping bands from around the world interact.

Bands have the opportunity to compete in WAMSB-sanctioned regional events and the prestigious annual WAMSB World Championships.

The Calgary Stetson Show Band won third place and the Calgary Round Up band was the only junior high band to move to the finals and came in seventh place.

–With files from Destiny Meilleur, Global News

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