Dakota Ridge High School Takes First Place at First Marching Band Competition of the Season

Dakota Ridge High School Screamin’ Eagles Marching Band performs their 2019 show “Luna” directed by Dylan Ford.

Dylan Ford

Dakota Ridge High School Screamin’ Eagles Marching Band performs their 2019 show “Luna” directed by Dylan Ford.

Emilya Barwick

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The Dakota Ridge instrumental program has never had an easy road to follow. After losing their band director who had taught them for over ten years, Dakota Ridge was struggling to stay in the competition. Even though the instrumental music culture tries to stay as positive and supportive as possible, competing and performing for a marching band is ruthless. Each band is put into a league based on the size of their school, and numbers can range from 64 students (the size of the Dakota Ridge Marching Band) to over 230, the number that Air Academy, one of the band’s top competitors in the league, has. 

For 2019, the Screaming Eagles marching band’s show is titled “Luna” with excerpts from “Moonlight Sonata” by Beethoven, “Claire de Lune” by Debussy, “Paint It, Black” by the Rolling Stones, and “Moondance” by Van Morrison. For the Jeffco competition specifically, Dakota Ridge’s football and some of the Poms and cross country team came to support their band. Maddie Sanchez, a member of the band’s color guard, made very clear how important it was to her that her school supports the band. 

“I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t think I, or anyone else, has what we have when it comes to support. We’ve got fans. And they’re proud to be an eagle,” she said. The fans could be heard all the way from the field, the football team cheering the band on, continuously shouting: “Who we be? Eagles!” 

It wasn’t just the students from Dakota that enjoyed the show. According to band directors across all of Jeffco, the show “Luna” was something that will have band kids running into the stands to watch.

After the show, Dylan Ford, the Dakota Ridge Instrumental Music Director, seemed to be at a loss for words as he looked upon his students. He praised their performance, even though it was only the first competition. He spoke about his goals for the show, and the excitement that he gets while watching his band perform. 

“People come here to watch you,” he said, referring to his marching band. “You’ve got crowds of people who will think about what you just put on the field as they drive home. And they don’t even know your names.” It was only thirty minutes later when the announcers called out Dakota Ridge High School Screaming Eagles Marching band had won first place. 

The Jeffco competition is only the first  of the season, but it is seen as the first step in the direction the band will go. The Jeffco competition carries a lot of importance to the band members, and their first place win has only pushed them to aspire further.