Marching Band mania hits Lake Charles later this month

Event set for Saturday, October 20

Lake Charles Toyota teams up with The Pride of McNeese Marching Band. The Tarvers and LC Toyota have helped send the MSU marching band to various competitions and performances, including London.

Special to the American Press

To enjoy exciting half-time show drama and pageantry at Cowboy Stadium all day long, plan now to attend the Lake Charles Toyota Gulf Coast Marching Band Championship. The event is scheduled for Saturday, October 20, and the starting time will be announced soon.

“On the average, we have from 3,000 to 4,000 spectators, not counting band members,” said Jay Jacobs, McNeese director of bands. “Eighteen bands will be competing. The majority are from local high schools, but the Granada, Mississippi band will be back this year and we have a few Houston bands attending.”

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Bands are competing to win, the atmosphere is festive and the performances promise to entertain.

“Marching band is more than music,” said Scott Waldrop, Lake Charles Toyota. “It’s a performance. It’s choreography. It’s a compelling narrative. Band members train for hours and show remarkable precision.” 

“If a basketball team trained as hard as these kids do, it would be unbelievable.”

That’s what Hall of Fame Coach Bobby Knight said about Indiana’s drum corp in a 1987 issue. He took his players to watch them practice, to show them what they can accomplish with hard work and teamwork.

As The Pride of McNeese’s first-ever corporate sponsor, the Tarvers and Lake Charles Toyota not only contribute monetarily — they can be found cooking for and interacting with the students directly. 

Special to the American Press

The event will conclude with a performance by The Pride of McNeese Marching Band. Tickets for adults are $10 and children 12 and under will pay $5. Proceeds help fund band travel and other expenses.

Last year Lake Charles Toyota helped fund the McNeese marching band’s trip to London. The Pride of McNeese Marching Band performed in the invitation-only New Year Parade, televised worldwide. Identifying this need resulted in The Pride of McNeese Marching Band having its first-ever corporate sponsor, Lake Charles Toyota.

“Lake Charles Toyota helps us with the big checks, but they do more than that,” said Jacobs. “They also cook for the students, talk with them and listen.”

As The Pride of McNeese’s first-ever corporate sponsor, the Tarvers and Lake Charles Toyota not only contribute monetarily — they can be found cooking for and interacting with the students directly. 

Special to the American Press

Lake Charles Toyota is owned by Philip Tarver and his wife DeWanna, lifelong residents of Southwest Louisiana.  Sons, Corey Tarver and Eric Tarver, are General Manager and Chief Financial Officer.

The current Lake Charles Toyota advertising tagline is, “Raise Your Expectations.” The Tarvers investment in area schools and other organizations also raises expectations. Few business owners can match their presence in Calcasieu Parish and financial support.

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The McNeese band isn’t the only beneficiary of their generosity. Local private and public students, faculty and administrators have benefitted from contributions of cash and technology. LC Toyota has partnered with MusicMakers2U, an organization devoted to providing youth with access to musical instruments. They help support Automotive Technology at Sowela Technical Community College. They keep the spotlight on outstanding Calcasieu Parish educators and other staff. They pay tribute to local elderly citizens and law enforcement officers. And they feed hundreds of people almost every week at schools and other venues.  

“If you’ve ever met any of the Tarvers, then you realize they’re not much for tooting their own horn,” Waldrop said. “But they do enjoy calling attention to the hard work of area students. We hope others will join us.”

Mark your calendar for the Lake Charles Toyota Gulf Coast Band Championship on Saturday, October 20.


Follow Lake Charles Toyota on Facebook to see more of what they’re doing in and around the community — www.facebook.com/lakecharlestoyota.

Lake Charles Toyota Gulf Coast Marching Band Championship tickets for adults are $10 and children 12 and under will pay $5. 

Marching band is more than music. It’s a performance. It’s choreography. It’s a compelling narrative.’

Scott Waldrop, Lake Charles Toyota

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