Battle of the bands at Stocker

The Olathe High School Priate Pride Marching Band take to the field during the Colorado West Marching Band Festival Saturday at Stocker Stadium.Featuring bands from Colorado Springs, Denver and various Western Slope schools.The performances concluded with guest appearance from the Colorado Mesa University Marching Stampede.

For six years in a row, the Palisade High School Marching Band has earned second place at the annual state competition.

Drum major Corrine Curtis feels this may be the year the band tips the scales.

"We feel it," she said of a change in the marching band, a total of 98 students. "This year it started different. We feel like the band is more connected."

Curtis, 17, a senior, is sure the band "is gonna surprise them this year" and earn that first-place spot during the Oct. 29 state competition in Pueblo this year.

"In the end what I love about marching band is competition," she said, resting up after the performance. "But we all really support each other."

Palisade High School donned a steampunk theme this year, with a set that includes some props like gears on wheels. Curtis said it's a little nerve-wracking to be the drum major, the one leading the band, but it's also a thrill. She lives in Fruita but commutes to the Palisade school just for the marching band program. She also aims to study music at the University of Northern Colorado next year and hopes to be a band director one day.

"I always get really nervous until I step out onto the field, then I know what to do," she said.

Palisade's marching band joined 13 other marching bands at Stocker Stadium on Saturday, all of the bands displaying dazzling moves and music for the first of several marching band competitions this season. Bands also play during their school's football games.

Palisade High School teacher and marching band director Jeff Mason said the band probably wouldn't be so successful without its legions of parents supporting band members.

About 19 parents helped get the props into location and feed the students.

"I don't think we could do it without parents," he said.

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