In step and on time – the Adams State Marching Band’s energy entertains and inspires

(11-02-2011)

By: Mariah Pepe

Working together in literal and figurative harmony, the Adams State College marching band jams through another football season.

This year, the band is remaining true to the Adams State Hispanic heritage with its lively Latin theme. The band opens with a piece called “Roar” and closes with “Chiapas”. The middle song changes every game between “Crazy in Love”, “Oye Como Va”, and “Ran Kan Kan”.

This smooth performance, under the direction of Dr. James VanValkenburg, assistant professor of music, and James Doyle, visiting assistant professor of music, is the product of a lot of effort. The band practices for four and a half hours every week and the different sections meet for further rehearsal. This could mean an extra hour or two depending on the section and any obstacles it is facing. Drum Major Chelsea Oden acknowledges this is a small time commitment, so it “inspires the band the goal of being ten times as efficient in [their] marching rehearsals and demands the necessary and rewarding commitment of optimal focus.” She also practices clarinet at least two hours a day and “counts [herself] lucky to get in four hours of practice.” It takes individual dedication from each of the members to achieve the success of this band.

Accompanying the band, the color guard’s choreography was written by multiple people. Sarah Davis, a former ASC student, directed “Roar”, and Oneyda Maestas, student engagement and success instructor, taught “Crazy in Love”. The color guard collaborated on the rest of the pieces.

In addition to practicing the performance, the band seeks interactions with multiple high school bands. Marching band takes “the opportunity to get involved with high school bands preparing for competitions,” says Oden. They performed for the Monte Vista bands at a marching exhibition, and they recently invited high schools to Adams State to practice performing for their competitions. It was a great bonding experience, practice opportunity, and it encourages the students to pursue marching band at the college level; it’s a great chance to celebrate the hard work of the marchers on all levels.

Oden says “in order to function as one unit, everyone must be flexible, willing to contribute, and determined to learn.” At the games, the band has overcome the physical and mental challenges of marching, and they are now enjoying the honor of performing with such prestigious talent.