History of the Marching Classic

The idea of a marching band festival in Waseca surfaced in the fall of 1987 when plans were being developed for Waseca ’88, a community celebration. “Why not host a band festival since we have a great music enthusiasm in Waseca,” was the question asked. Why not indeed? Thus began the Waseca Marching Band Festival in 1988. In 1990, the name was changed to the Waseca Marching Classic.

The Marching Classic holds both parade and field competitions the same day. In the morning, the bands parade through the downtown of Waseca playing their mightiest. In the early afternoon a field competition is held at the High School’s athletic field. The Waseca Marching Classic brings some of the finest marching bands from Iowa, South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Many people and many hours have been put into making the Marching Classic the best in the region by improving many items from past years and thinking of new innovative ideas. Please join us for one of the finest marching band competitions in the upper Midwest!


Richard “Butch” Dufault
Waseca High School Band Director for 19 years (1975-1994)

Richard “Butch” and Marilyn Dufault came to Waseca in 1975 when Butch took the job of the high school band director. All the Dufault Children, Todd, Zoe Ann, Monte, Barry and Jared, played in the band.

Butch directed the first Waseca Marching Jays Indoor Concert in the Fall, 1975, patterned after the style of the University of Minnesota Marching Band.

Marilyn said her husband loved what he was doing as a high school band director and loved to work with his students. His approach to the band was that he would do the best job he could.

Butch was passionate and driven.  He would videotape his bands’ rehearsals and later watch the films, looking for ways to improve; a method ahead of its time.  He brought out the best in his students.   He was very well respected.

“His philosophy was that competition is what motivates us, but marching band is more than a trophy. Band taught them life skills they could take with them for the rest of their lives, to be the best they can be”, said his son Todd.

Butch wanted the Marching Jays to be Ambassadors for Waseca, always wearing clean uniforms, and conduct­ing themselves with class when they performed out of town.  He was very proud of Waseca.

In 1994 the Waseca Marching Classic Committee honored Butch and Marilyn as Grand Marshals. The 26th annual Classic in September, 2013, paid tribute to Butch.  He was one of the co-founders of this event when it began in conjunction with the 1988 Waseca All School Reunion.  He served on the committee for 25 years.  The sweepstakes trophy, given each year at the Marching Classic to the overall champion in both parade and field competition, was named the Richard “Butch” Dufault Sweepstakes Award in his honor.  Butch was well known in the marching community in Minnesota and the surrounding states as a band director, music clinician and a judge.

Butch passed away on March 17, 2013.

Mr. Dufault will always be rememebered for his contributions to the Waseca High School Band program and the Waseca Community.


Herb Streitz  (1913 – 2008)

Herb Streitz came to Waseca in 1940 as the first full time Band and Orchestra Director and retired from teaching in 1969 except for two years in U. S. Navy Bands during WWII.

At the Second Annual Waseca Marching Band Festival in 1989, the Spirit Award was named the Herb Streitz Spirit Award in his honor in recognition of his contribution to the band program at Waseca High School.  This annual presentation is made to the band that best exhibits the pride, spirit, enthusiasm, friendliness, and unity of  high school band persons.