MONTE VISTA— The Monte Vista High School marching band once again proved its talent for music and theatrics on the football field with a mighty first-place win at the High School Marching Band Regionals on Wednesday, Oct. 17.
The musical-minded Pirates left Monte Vista for Liberty High School in Colorado Springs at 6:30 a.m. and arrived back at nearly midnight with trophy in hand and to a parade of about 20 honking cars that escorted their bus from the Monte Vista Coop to the high school, two police cars included.
“In the past, there have been only about three or four bands competing in the 1A classification,” said Monte Vista band director Jason Paschall. “This year, there were six.”
The win ranked the Pirates third overall out of 13 1A bands that competed in the state’s four regional competitions that same week. Estes Park High School placed first with a score of 57.25, while Bayfield High placed second with a score of 53.20. Monte Vista was close on Bayfield’s heels with a score of 52.05. Of the 13 competing bands, only the top nine will advance to state.
MVHS has a rich history in state band titles. “We’ve won the most 1A state titles out of any school, something like 20 or so,” Paschall said. “If you come into the high school’s band hall, there are championship banners lining the walls and wrapping around the room.”
The last time the band won state was 2010.
Last year, the band’s season was fraught with changes that interrupted their momentum, like an entire summer without a band director and a newly hired director who left at the height of competition. Despite the struggles, the band managed to eke out fourth place in the 2017 State Championships.
This year, the band looks and sounds better than ever. “Last year was tough,” Paschall said. “But I think the kids kind of proved to themselves what they are capable of.”
One thing new this year is the addition of Delaney Armstrong, a percussion instructor from Adams State University who has been helping the Pirates build a strong percussion line. The band’s 10 or so seniors have also been leading the charge in the motivation department with the mostly younger band members, like the three eighth-grade students who play keyboard along the sideline and another one who plays auxiliary instruments. “These kids are talented and they add another color, another texture and element to the band’s sound,” Paschall said.
This year’s state competition will be held on Oct. 29 at CSU’s DeRose Thunderbowl in Pueblo. The band recently added a few unique choreographic moves to its James Bond 007 medley performance that they will perform for the first time at state.
Not to give too much away, but just think of those iconic intro scenes in the 007 series with Bond’s silhouette in the circular opening of a camera’s lens.