The Grand County High School marching band started its competition season with an impressive first-place showing at the Nebo Tournament of the Bands on Saturday, Sept. 28.
The competition featured 31 bands from all across Utah, classified into five divisions – 1A through 5A – according to the size of the band, said GCHS band director Don McGuire.
Grand, with 35 performers, competed in the 1A division, which is for bands with fewer than 40 members. The Red Devils were grouped with Spanish Fork, Springville, Ogden, Uintah, Salem Hills, Timpanogos, Payson and Stansbury Park for Saturday’s competition at Payson.
In addition to taking overall first place in its category, the GCHS marching band was recognized as the best visual group and the best musical group, McGuire said. Stansbury took second place overall and Timpanogos placed third, he said.
“We were most pleased with the way the crowd received our show,” McGuire said. “We enjoy being something of a ‘good time’ band.”
The GCHS marching band’s lively and entertaining show, entitled, “N’Awlins: Second Line,” is styled after a traditional New Orleans jazz funeral. Parts of the show have been seen by GCHS football fans this season during the band’s halftime performances at recent home contests.
Although Grand is the smallest school in Utah to have a competitive marching band, the GCHS group makes up for its lack of size in talent, McGuire said. He gave credit to drum major Adam Jenkinson and color guard captain Lindsay Farnsworth for their leadership, along with color guard coach Carrie Foy.
“Our music, which has been so well received, was written by Dr. Shannon Roberts of Weber State University, and our drill was written by Victor Neeves of Bandtek,” McGuire said, adding that Neeves writes for many of the universities in the state as well as universities and high schools across the country.
“We enjoy enormous support from our band parents, who not only supply the kids for this band but also help with the transportation of sets and equipment, but also help set up the field for the performances,” McGuire said.
“I have such a wonderful group of people to work with, both students, assistants and parents, we can’t help but succeed,” McGuire added. “More importantly though, is how much fun we have doing this. I think that’s why people respond so well to this band … We’re having fun, so they have fun!”