My name is Bob Eastes and I hail from Pratt, Kansas. I am a sports nut, of all sports at all levels, and spend as much time as I can watching high school sporting events, especially at the state level. Having three sons that were very involved in high school and collegiate sports, the passion runs deep.
Recently, my wife Becky and I attended the 4A Division II opening round of the state basketball tournament at Hartmann Arena in Wichita. We were totally blown away by the performance of the Iola High School band and the direction of Matt Kleopfer. I’m normally one of those guys who is annoyed by the band. Too loud, play too often, can’t talk about the game. But, the Iola band was amazing! They were the highlight of the tournament for Becky and me. We couldn’t wait for their next set and wished they had played the entire day!
Hats off to Matt Kleopfer, the students in the band, and the parents, students, faculty and administration of Iola High. Next time there is a state championship athletic event, or an Iola High band performance …. tough decision.
Bob and Becky Eastes,
Editor’s note: In going through issues of the Iola Register from October 1951, I stumbled across this letter from Rolla Clymer, editor of the El Dorado Times, commenting to Register publisher Angelo Scott about the IHS band under Dale P. Creitz. — S.L.
“I see where you praised your high school band in your paper Monday for its performance at the KU game at Lawrence the preceding Saturday. Your youngsters certainly had coming all that you said about them — though I thought ‘terrific’ a rather weak word for the purpose.
“That was the best kid band I ever have seen anywhere, at any time. And while no Iola blood runs in my veins, I believe I must have thrilled as much as you did at the sight. The whole performance was a masterpiece. When the band finally started off the field and those four little cute majorettes in the lead put their arms around each other, I fairly fell off the Christmas tree.
“Doggone, what a band like that did to an old wart hog like me!
“Iola never need worry about its baseball team or any other of its reasons to brag so long as it has a band like that. Somebody has a lot of credit coming for producing excellence of that sort.
“Yours in the bond, R.A. Clymer.”