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Marching band vies for 'Hawaii Five-O' title

The Pride of the Plains Marching Band is up against some pretty stiff competition in a CBS contest to see who can do the best performance of the "Hawaii Five-O" theme song.

To some, it may be just a brilliant marketing trick, but to the director of the Pride of the Plains Marching Band, a CBS contest based on the performance of the theme song of its revival of the TV drama "Hawaii Five-O" is fun, raises the visibility of the band and has the potential to earn the program $25,000.

Doug Whitten, director of PSU's marching band, said the CBS contest required college and university marching bands to submit videos of their performance of the iconic theme song.

The videos are posted online where the public is asked to vote for their favorites. (View and vote here) According to the contest rules, those videos are to be scored by on four criteria: musicianship, band choreography, originality of performance, and an evaluation of the performance as a whole. Voting can take place until 11:59 a.m. on Monday, Oct. 4. The winner will not only receive $25,000 for its band program, but will be featured on the Oct. 11 episode of "Hawaii Five-O."

The competition is stiff, Whitten said. Other university bands in the mix include Notre Dame, Clemson and the University of Indiana.

"Of course it would be nice to win $25,000 for the band program," Whitten said, "but one of the main benefits of the competition is the way it raises the visibility of the band and of the program. All of the band members are encouraging their friends on Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites to vote, which everyone can do once a day."

The competition helps build excitement around the Pride of the Plains Marching Band, according to Whitten.

"It's great to see Pittsburg State in the same list with some big-time Division I bands," Whitten said. "And it's also just a lot of fun."

And what about that song?

"The 'Hawaii Five-O' theme is one of those iconic pieces of music, especially for a generation that grew up with the original show," Whitten said. "It's one of those tunes that kind of sticks in your head and you just can't get it out."

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