Saturday was the state marching band competition so everyone was up early. In keeping with the band director’s philosophy that professes if you’re on time you’re late, but if you’re early you’re on time, Ross got to school at 5:45 a.m. in order to report to the gym by 6:00.

Rhonda, John and I left the house at 8:15 to drive to the football stadium at Colorado State University in Fort Collins where the bands were to perform that day. We were fortunate to have beautiful fall weather

Fort Collins

and no photography worries as Rhonda shot 174 pictures with her Nikon. It’s something she loves to do and is quite good at it, so we were more than happy to leave it to the pro.

Legacy placed second in the semi-finals


semi-finals Paranoid Android

with a score of 80.95 out of 100, 1.4 points shy of the first place score earned by a Fort Collins band with a show titled Stained Glass. Ross said the judges really liked Legacy’s show, but they wanted “that much more” to put it over the top.

Their finals performance was awesome! As tired as they must’ve been, the kids pulled out all the stops, nailing their line formations, the music, choreography—everything.



They looked and sounded great, improving their score by 1.1 points from the semi-finals to 82.05. Unfortunately, they needed .75 more points to tie for first place. I felt so proud to be associated with our band and those kids.

No question the Fort Collins band that won was very good.

Fort Collins band.

Fort Collins band.

Like the bands at the Bands of America event in St. Louis, it was large—nine sousaphones with other brass dominating the rest of the band, making it difficult for other bands to compete with what I refer to as big and loud.

From a creativity standpoint, though, I thought Legacy’s show and a Boulder high school’s show were much better than the Fort Collins show. Boulder’s show Rhapsody in Paris was wonderfully conceived, from the Eiffel Tower to the music and color guard costumes. It was a delight to watch and listen to.

John talked to a band dad on pit crew for this high school. He said they consulted a structural engineer for the Eiffel Tower prop used in their show.

John talked to a band dad on pit crew for this high school. He said they consulted a structural engineer for the Eiffel Tower prop used in their show.

Legacy’s show featured three songs: Mars by Gustav Holst, Mothership by Mason Bates and Paranoid Android by Radiohead. I’m not sure if Paranoid Android was originally part of the show or if it was added after Ross and Dillon, a drummer, played rock out solos for it at last spring’s jazz band concert. Their performances led jazz band members who were also in marching band to persuade the director to incorporate them into the marching show.

We did not record video of the band’s performance at state, but if you’re interested to see what all the fuss has been about (and you really should be—just sayin’), click here for a link to their performance at the Arapahoe Marching Festival two weeks earlier. Turn up your volume ’cause the music is Out of This World!

I watched this video a couple of times before I realized that between 3:42 and 4:17, the brass and the woodwinds have a little back and forth with each other, incorporating cute little movements (head tilts, knee bends, dips, leans and sways) into their performance while they play.

Extra points.

Extra points.

I asked Ross about this one day:

“I never noticed you guys making those movements before—they’re cute!”

Ross leaned in to look at the video. “Oh, yeah. We get extra points for that.”

“You do?”

“It’s choreography.”

At 4:35 when Mothership ends, watch the drummer in the middle of the pit get up and walk behind the large concert bass on the right.

The pit drummer prepares to enter the field for "Paranoid Android."

The pit drummer prepares to enter the field for “Paranoid Android.”

He is getting ready to join the snare players you see circling (5:02) on the far right of the field. Ross and Dillon, both snare players, are about to leave the field to go play their parts for Paranoid Android in the pit. With this exchange, the band is down only one snare player.

Ross and Dillon exit the field for "Paranoid Android."

Ross and Dillon exit the field for “Paranoid Android.”

I know this isn’t Hollywood, but I thought the exploding circle where Ross and Dillon break away (5:13) was a clever transition, particularly since, early in the season, the plan was for them to prance backwards a good long distance.

Listen for Ross’s guitar beginning at 6:22. Shameless Mom bragging: It’s so cool.

finals PA

Congratulations to Legacy High School for a superior performance. You’ll always be first in my view!



Filed under kids

2 responses to “State

  1. Rhonda

    Now you can fall asleep to the soft sounds of the band playing Mars and Mothership and not have to get up at O’ dark hundred for another competition.
    Great job Legacy, you were fantastic!

  2. So glad you were able to share it with us! Let the recovery from marching season begin!

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