Strike up the bands
With spirits as high as a balloon at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, hundreds of people began lining up on Main Street about 8 a.m. Saturday to claim their vantage for the 36th annual Colorado West Marching Band Festival.
Seventeen bands from across the state braved bad weather to attend the invitational event, which provides musicians and performers an opportunity to be judged and learn from mistakes 12 days before regional competition starts Oct. 17, said School District 51 music coordinator Kathy Josephs.
“It was great. Everything went real smooth. The weather cooperated. The bands are getting better and better all the time, so we’re just really happy,” Josephs said.
Band members, who started working together in July, practice about one week for every minute that they perform in the field show, she said.
“In addition to marching in step, especially in the field show, they have to be able to judge where they are in the formation, because they have to be equally spaced from the person in front of them, behind them and beside them,” said Pam Scott, mother of Central High freshman Nolan Scott, a trombonist. “They have to fit into a picture, and I think sometimes that’s a real challenge because they can’t see the big picture.”
Waiting for the marching bands to pass by on Main Street, Pam Lynch, grandmother of Palisade High freshman Austin Majura, a saxophonist, said music is important for young people.
“It expands their horizons. It allows them to be in a group. Sometimes kids can’t be in athletics. And music — it has to be a part of our life, because it enriches us so much,” Lynch said.
Stanley Hill, grandfather of Grand Junction High sophomore Mauryn Lard, a clarinetist, agreed.
“Like sports, it brings kids together. They practice together and it’s the sound that they must achieve plus the march. And they’re very picky,” Hill said.
Grand Junction area bands performed well during the field show at Stocker Stadium compared to their counterparts from the Front Range and other parts of the state.
Fruita Monument High, for example, took first place in its division for both parade and field show and was recognized for outstanding field conductor, while Palisade High won the most awards, including outstanding field conductor, outstanding inspection, first place parade, outstanding auxiliary, outstanding percussion and first place field show.
Grand Junction High took second in its division for field show and was recognized for outstanding percussion and outstanding inspection.
Central High took third in its division for field show and was recognized for outstanding auxiliary.