GCHS marching band takes sixth overall at Red Rocks competition
by Mary Rice
contributing writer
Nov 08, 2012 | 873 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Grand County High School marching band performs during a competition in Colorado earlier this season. The band placed sixth overall at their final competition of the season in St. George last weekend. Photo by Richard Jenkinson
The Grand County High School marching band performs during a competition in Colorado earlier this season. The band placed sixth overall at their final competition of the season in St. George last weekend. Photo by Richard Jenkinson
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The Grand County High School Red Devil marching band completed a successful season last weekend, taking sixth place at the Red Rocks band show in St. George on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 2 and 3.

The band, which has wowed crowds at home and away this fall under the direction of new band director Don McGuire, finished in sixth-place overall at the competition, however, in several individual categories the Red Devils ranked much higher.

The band was ranked in a variety of categories by six judges during the competition. In the Music General Effect category, Grand’s band ranked second, while in the Visual General Effect category Grand placed third.

“We did killer,” said McGuire. “I think we proved that we can play with anybody.”

If the band showed room for improvement, McGuire said it would be the performers’ marching technique.

“We scored low in that category, he said. “I think if our marching form had been as good as our other areas, we would have been about third overall.”

McGuire said that making improvements to marching techniques will be at the top of the list for the band as it prepares for competitions next year.

Grand’s color guard team also performed exceptionally well, finishing their first year of competition with the highest sub-score of the entire band, according to McGuire.

“Our color guard scored highest,” said McGuire. “And they’ve really just had a phenomenal first year.”

McGuire said he is very pleased with how the season turned out and he is looking forward to next year.

“I think we proved we can play with anybody,” he said. “These guys are a really good band, and one that performs well.”

Grand had one last opportunity to perform on Saturday, Nov. 3, when the band stopped by Cedar City on its way home to play during the Red Devil’s semifinal football game against Manti.

“We were very pleased to be able to support our team again,” said McGuire. “This was a really fun two-day trip. These guys are a very close-knit band, and we’ve really connected with the home crowd. We’re really looking forward to next year.”

Next year should bring even more changes and improvement for the band, he said. The Red Devil musicians will only be losing one senior to graduation, but the band’s performance this year has already sparked a growing interest among students, so the size of the band is expected to grow, McGuire said. He added that he also anticipates some change in instructors.

“I’d really like to find a percussion instructor with deep marching band experience, and work on improving our form and technique when we march,” he said

The GCHS marching band will perform for the last time before concluding their season this fall at a friends and family concert at the high school. The date has yet to be announced.

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