Band contest season marches to a close

Soaring Pride earns sixth place at final competition

Senior+Bret+Ramirez+marches+trumpet%2C+one+of+many+instruments+he+plays+including+guitar+and+piano.
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Band contest season marches to a close

Senior Bret Ramirez marches trumpet, one of many instruments he plays including guitar and piano.

Senior Bret Ramirez marches trumpet, one of many instruments he plays including guitar and piano.

Brooklyn Pernell

Senior Bret Ramirez marches trumpet, one of many instruments he plays including guitar and piano.

Brooklyn Pernell

Brooklyn Pernell

Senior Bret Ramirez marches trumpet, one of many instruments he plays including guitar and piano.

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One. Three. Horns up, breathe, breathe…

Adrenaline surges throughout the band in response to the count-off. As music sounds from the field, students pour their all into performing the finale of a show that took 13 weeks of sweat, time and effort to prepare.

The Soaring Pride Band concluded their fourth and final marching contest of the season Saturday, Oct. 26. Canyon placed sixth in their class at the New Mexico Pageant of Bands, hosted in Albuquerque.  The band performed their 2019 show, “Into the Sky,” under the instruction of band director Mike Sheffield. 

Being drum major is a really hard job, because it means that you are the face of the band, and you have to take that with a lot of salt and a lot of responsibility.”

— Macy McClish, 12

“I think the design of the show was very appealing,” Sheffield said. “We wanted to portray anything that was between the surface of the earth and the top of the atmosphere. We went with birds and planes and helicopters and storms and wind. The contest itself was run really well; the judges were good and qualified.”

The band won the Outstanding Drum Major and Outstanding Color Guard caption awards. The drum majors include head senior Macy McClish, senior Wade House and junior Lily Williams.

“The drum major award is awarded upon your clarity, your consistency and your connection with the band,” McClish said. “We would work during the week during class, and we would work on conducting the show. What that entailed was making sure our style of conducting matched so that we all looked the same, including cues and special effects. Being drum major is a really hard job because it means that you are the face of the band, and you have to take that with a lot of salt and a lot of responsibility.”

The show highlighted excerpts from “Machu Picchu–City in the Sky” by Satoshi Yagisawa, “To Tame the Perilous Skies” by David Holsinger and “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by The Beatles.

“At one point in the show, we made a picture of a plane,” McClish said. “We had guard members with actual propeller-type props. They spun them, and the plane moved. It was really kind of neat. Then we had different sound effects in the show. There was a helicopter sound.”

I feel there is always things you wish you could improve and wish you could have done better.”

— Erin Riley, 12

Head captain Erin Riley and co-captain Katy Gill led the award-winning color guard.

“That’s actually the second time this season we have won a caption award, meaning we got special recognition for how well we did,” Riley said. “We got it at the New Mexico Pageant of Bands and at High Plains. It is the first time we have gotten that recognition since 2015. It was a great way to end the year, and I am proud of the way my section came together to finish.” 

The color guard also won Outstanding Guard at the High Plains Marching Festival.

“Every show is very different, and it’s kind of hard to compare them,” Riley said. “I’m glad it was my senior year show. I feel there’s always things you wish you could improve and wish you could have done better.  I feel like the rest of the senior class and I really tried and did all that we could to make it as great as it became. Overall, it was a lot of fun.”

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