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CASPER, Wyo. — "America's Corps" and the Wyoming All-State Marching Band have officially become partners.

With the 2011 retirement of Dave Bellis and his wife, Dawn, as executive directors of the All-State Marching Band, the Troopers Drum & Bugle Corps and the band have formed a partnership.

Tyler Surrell, director of bands at Lander Valley High School, and Mike Ottoes, executive director of the Troopers, will be the band's executive directors. Operational support will come from the Troopers administrative office in Casper.

"The Troopers are very excited to partner with this fantastic organization that has had such a positive impact on thousands of Wyoming students," Ottoes said. "Both groups have the goal of providing high-level performance education opportunities for young people. For the last 20 years, the All-State Marching Band has represented Wyoming with pride and excellence, and the Troopers are honored to be part of it for the next 20 years and beyond."

The band's most recent performance was in January at the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif.

The Wyoming All-State Marching Band was formed in 1990 by Bellis, former director of bands at Worland High School, and John Aanestad, former director of bands at Riverton, to help celebrate Wyoming's centennial. The band's first national performance was at the 1991 Tournament of Roses Parade.

Band membership is by application through high school music instructors. Membership will be chosen between now and summer 2012. Positions will be offered by Surrell and his staff. A camp will take place during summer 2012, as well as performances throughout the state in parades and community celebrations.

"The WASMB is honored to have created this partnership with the Troopers," Surrell said. "We could not have a better partner than the Troopers, one of the elite marching programs in the country."

More information about the 2012 Wyoming All-State Marching Band is expected soon, Surrell said.

"Stay tuned, we have some exciting news coming out over the next few weeks," he said.

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