Band director shares secrets of winning season with Rockford’s Board of Education

band3Season ends with third place in state

Rockford’s Board of Education heard firsthand how a winning season happens as Brian Phillips, director of bands for the district, highlighted the Rockford marching band’s season successes. He spoke Monday, Nov. 18 during the board’s regular meeting. The band had an incredible year and ended the season at third in the state.

One hundred and ninety-one students participated in the Rockford marching band this season. “The band has been steadily growing over the past few years, and it doesn’t look like it is going to slow down anytime soon,” Phillips said.

The first invitational of the season was a home event playing in exhibition to be judged and scored. The band did not play against other schools at this event and earned a score of 89.8.

The first invitational against other bands was against Otsego. Rockford earned first place in Class AA, and earned best music, best color guard, best percussion and was grand champion for the highest score of the event.

Winning continued against Belding, where Rockford’s team earned a score of 73.3, took best music, best marching, best general effect and highest score of the event.

Against Allegan, Rockford scored 76.8, earned best music, best marching and took first place in flight one.

Scoring 85.55 against Reeths Puffer, Rockford was in top form again. The team took home first place in flight one, best music, best marching, best general effect and again was first place in competitive scoring.

Wrapping up the season in the state championship, Rockford’s marching band entered the competition in fifth place overall in ranking. They earned a score of 84.9, and ended up third in the state—an all-time best for Rockford (so far).

“Practically speaking, we should not be higher than fourth, when comparing rehearsal schedules and resources,” said Phillips.

Phillips attributed part of the season’s amazing success with implementing trimesters at Rockford High School. “We were able to pool all three band classes—concert, symphonic and wind ensemble—into one period for a daily full ensemble rehearsal,” Phillips said. “This has never been possible at Rockford. This left no holes on the field and all the younger students had consistent, daily mentorship throughout the season.”

Phillips also reported that there were new faces to the staff this year, especially in the color guard, and their experience truly showed.

“The Rockford marching band has a very bright future,” Phillips stated. “I can’t wait to see where the band will take themselves next!”

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