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Rock Canyon High School marching band rocks the season

The Rock Canyon High School band performing at the Legend Show at Sports Authority Stadium on October 11 where they won first place. From left to right: Taylor Martin on flute, Shu Ee Ong on saxophone and Mark Berry on flute.

By Lisa Nicklanovich; photos courtesy of RCHS Band, Betsy Riner, and Tammy Reed

The Rock Canyon High School (RCHS) marching band has proven that hard work and dedication pay off. The Jaguar band had a remarkable season getting as far as state semi-finals, a first for RCHS.

Led by new (to RCHS) Band Director Jason Emory, the season began in late July with an intensive two week band camp that set the tone for the rest of the season. Emory held band practice 18-20 hours per week, including physical as well as musical training. The Jaguar band practiced over the entire fall break and Emory encouraged leadership and unity among the group of nearly 50 students.

The RCHS band won first place at the Legend Show on October 11. At the Colorado Bandmasters Association (CBA) regional competition, the RCHS band earned second place qualifying them to move to the quarter-finals at the American Air Force Academy on October 24.  The Jaguar marching band placed sixth in quarter-finals, allowing them to proceed on to semi-finals, which were the next day.

Emory said, “The marching Jags were the smallest band to qualify for the CBA state semi-final competition with only 47 students on the field, but due to their dedication, they finished the season 11th in the state in 5A competition. The Jaguar Marching Band’s 2014 competitive season has been one for the record books.  The students proved that it is not the size of a band that determines their level of success.”

In addition to all the various competitions, the band performed during half time at all home football games and provided spirit music in the stands. The Jaguars are known for their school spirit and the band helped generate excitement and energy at RCHS.

Nate Coffee, a junior at RCHS and Castle Pines resident said, “This marching band season totally exceeded our expectations. In addition to winning our first ever competition and qualifying for semi-finals, we also won first place for marching bands at the Colorado Springs Veterans Day parade on November 8.”

Kate South, a RCHS senior, percussion section leader and Castle Pines resident, said, “This season will stick with me for the rest of my life.”

Emory added, “I have never worked with more dedicated, hard-working students than we have at Rock Canyon High School.  I consider it a privilege to work with these talented students, and I’m excited to see what the future holds for the band program!”

The Rock Canyon High School band performing at the state semi-finals competition at the Air Force Academy on October 25.

Drum major Garret Durie of Castle Pines leads the Rock Canyon High School band at the state semi-finals competition at the Air Force Academy on October 25.



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