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Renegade Regiment History

With the opening of their new high school in 1973, Union began to update their music and marching band program as well. As the decade drew to a close, high school band programs throughout the state began to take notice of Union and the Renegade Regiment. At the onset of the 80's, many marching bands were still arranging and performing the stereotypical halftime shows of an earlier era. However with the success of the Bands of America organization, the increased visibility of Drum Corps International, and the birth of the Oklahoma Bandmasters Association, it was apparent halftime shows were changing from simple blocks and lines into spectacular field pageantry. Union quickly adapted to this growing trend and soon became trendsetters of their own. By the end of the 80's the Renegade Regiment had "raised the bar" for other state bands. Union not only established themselves as one of the premiere marching bands in Oklahoma, they had also earned the respect of high school music programs across the nation.

In 1980, Ray Bell became director of the High School Band and it was a happy occurrence that it was the same year that a truly outstanding class of Sophomores that he had great success with at the Junior High came up with him. The infusion of talent and a new director coupled with upper classmen who had been just short of great accomplishment for some years was a formula for something truly special. It was apparent during summer band that this group was going to go well beyond anything we had done before and the band was very excited.

A bunch of us Seniors decided we needed a better name that was more in line with the cool names of the Drum and Bugle Corps which we worshiped. At the time, we were very enamored with the Phantom Regiment as we were playing one of their arrangements in the show that year and had done some other Phantom arrangements. I believe that I was the person who first uttered the name "Renegade Regiment", but it was such an obvious thing at the time that it wasn't much of a creative leap. Regardless, pretty much everybody loved the name immediately.

When we graduated, we were certainly less than certain that the Renegade Regiment moniker would stand the test of time. There was a bunch of alumni resistance to the Renegade over Redskin movement. For myself, I thought the name would be as distant of a memory at Union as would be my own efforts in the cause. But I'm very happy the name stuck because it is one that just sounds right. I am happier still that the students who came after us did the name so well."

- Tony Plank (class of 1981)

Much of the storied history of the Renegade Regiment captured on these pages can be directly attributed to retired Director of Bands, L. Dale Barnett. For 22, years, from the Fall of 1983 through the Spring of 2005, "Mr. B." was the head of the Union Band program. During his tenure, Dale led the way in numerous parades, including the Tournament of Roses Parade, and directed the Renegade Regiment to top honors at the Holiday Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Citrus Bowl band competitions, victories at the Bands of America (BOA) Mid-South and Mid-West Regional Championships, Finalist 6 out of the 8 years Union attended Bands of America (BOA) Grand National Marching Band Competition in Indianapolis, and 11 of the 12 Union triumphs at the Oklahoma Bandmaster Association (OBA) State Marching Band Championships. His dedication to the program over the years, and his innovation and spirit will forever be a part of the rich tradition of the Renegade Regiment.

Memorable moments from our Band, Colorguard, Percussion, and Jazz:
2001-WGI Concert Percussion Ensemble World Champions, OBA State Champion, Winterguard - Bronze Medalist
2000-OBA State Champion, BOA St. Louis Regional Champion, BOA Grand Nationals Finalist
1997-Fiesta Bowl Fieldshow Champion
1995-P.A.S. National H.S. Percussion Ensemble Champions; BOA Grand Nationals Finalist
1994-OBA State Champion, BOA National Colorguard Champion
1993-OBA State Champion, Fiesta Bowl Fieldshow Champion
1992-OBA State Champion
1990-BOA National Colorguard Champion
1989-OBA State Champion, 4th @ BOA Regional-Houston, 11th @ BOA Grand Nationals, BOA National Percussion Champion
1988-OBA State Champion, Holiday Bowl Competition Champion, WGI Champion (Open HS - Holocaust)
1987-WGI Champion (Open HS - Mannequin)
1986-OBA State Champion, 1st @ at BOA Mid-South Regional, 4th @ BOA Grand Nationals, P.A.S. National H.S. Percussion Ensemble Champs, BOA National Colorguard Champs, WGI Silver Medal
1985-OBA State Champion, WGI Champion (Open HS - Metamorphosis)
1984-WGI 6th Place - First time competing in WGI
1981-7th @ MBOA Summer National Championship - Whitewater, WI.
1980-OBA State Champion (Inaugural Year), 1st @ MBOA SW Regional - Commerce, TX

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