Arcadia High School Marching Band Sets Record as First SUSD Marching Band to Win First Place in State Championships
Phoenix, Ariz - Sixty-six students of the Arcadia High School Marching Band competed at ASU’s Sun Devil Stadium Saturday in the ABODA State Division III Championships against seven of the top bands in Arizona. After only four years of Arcadia Marching Band’s inception, and it’s second season of competitive performance, “The Spirit of Arcadia” Marching Band won the First Place State Title. Receiving 82.375 points, they earned the highest 1st place score in Division III history. The Saturday before, November 11th, 2017, Arcadia High School Marching Band also claimed First Place in the AZMBA 2A State Competition, at Campo Verde High School.
The 2017 winning program, “Statuesque”, is a scene set in a serene European garden with 6 marble statues on pedestals, played by the Arcadia Color Guard. Using the music of Don Barrett, the show begins and ends with the gentle sound of marimbas and bells. Throughout, the music builds with passion and impressively strong moments as the band marches together in perfect step. As the band plays, the statues come to life to play, dance, and even fall in love. Soon, their time comes to an end, and they return to their pedestals as the gentle sound of the vibraphone from the front ensemble ends the show.
Earning first place was a special moment for all the sixty-six members who worked hard since band camp in the hot July sun, daily zero hour practice beginning at six o’clock before school, after school practice twice a week, and competitions every Saturday lasting from morning to night. However, the award was especially emotional for the Arcadia seniors, who began the marching band program in August 2014. Last year, their first year competing, “The Spirit of Arcadia” won second place at the State Championships.
The “Spirit of Arcadia” was formed in 2014 under the guidance of AHS band director, Jan Gardner. Mr. Gardner worked with students to create and grow a program to be proud of. While the current Arcadia students were outstanding, Mr. Gardner understood that to continue the program, working with the Elementary and Middle School students was integral to the marching band program's success. Therefore, he worked together with band teacher, Mrs. Terra Hunsicker, from Arcadia feeder schools: Ingleside Middle School, Hopi Elementary School, Tavan Elementary School, and Echo Canyon School. Thru programs like Future Titan Night, where 8th grade band students play with the marching band at a football game, and sharing Winter Concert Performances at Arcadia, students enthusiasm for band was enhanced for the future. It is insight like this from Mr. Gardner that led the program to first place in state in such a short time. He sees greatness in all Arcadia students, and he has high expectations for them, both in high school and beyond.
Marching Band season is officially over, but there are more events to come in the school year. “The Spirit of Arcadia” will march in the Parada Del Sol on February 10th, 2018 through Downtown Scottsdale.
Watch the ABODA State Championship Performance at https://youtu.be/bgZz1PSEx4c
Follow The Spirit of Arcadia on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at @RKDAMarchBand
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