State Championships Canceled for 4A/5A Marching Bands is Seen as a Saving Grace

Band directors (Dylan Ford, middle) dancing with other marching band students in one final reunion at TrailBlazer Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Band directors (Dylan Ford, middle) dancing with other marching band students in one final reunion at TrailBlazer Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Emilya Barwick, Staff Writer

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The incoming forecast for October 28 did not sit well for the Colorado BandMasters Association (CBA). On Monday, the 4A/5A marching leagues planned to compete in what would be their state championships, the same competition that bands have been rehearsing for since July. 

Snow was meant to hit on Sunday evening in Colorado Springs (the location of Air Force Academy Stadium where State Championships are held) and continue through Monday and Tuesday. The cold is known to be a musician’s worst enemy, affecting the sound the instrument produces, as well as the high risk of damage snow produces when colliding with woodwind instruments and percussion sets. 

Due to the incoming forecast and inevitable snow storm that was well approaching, CBA decided to cancel the competition all together, and band directors were notified on Friday the 25th. Dakota Ridge marching band members heard from Band Director Dylan Ford about the final decision a few hours after. 

Although the news brought down most of the moods in the band, Trailblazer Stadium hosted a State Marching Showcase for six Jeffco schools in 4A/5A leagues. Bear Creek, Dakota Ridge, Arvada West, Columbine, Chatfield, and Lakewood High School were invited to attend, and all other band members were encouraged to attend for support.

The competition held no pressure for band members — it was meant to give all students one last time to perform their show. The energy was high in the stadium, and there were no scores that were given to any of the bands. 

During the line up, the speaker of the event told the members to “Break Rank” which is the command to shake out from their positions and congratulate their competitors. Two rival bands could be seen shaking hands during this time, gathering together to celebrate their seasons.

Music began to play, and band directors and students were seen dancing in the middle of the Trailblazer Stadium field. 

The event on October 26 was last minute and not at all as coordinated as the State Championships were expected to be. However, it was what could be done in the short amount of time that was given, and students might have even had more fun at that event than a state competition in a snow storm. 

Dakota Ridge Screamin’ Eagles Marching Band wearing their uniforms for their 2019 performance of Luna, which they were scheduled to perform at State Championships.