RHS Marching Band Wins Top Honors West Shore Invitational

The RHS Marching Band’s 2017 “Tao” features the Chinese inspired concept of yin and yang. Photo by Miles Postema

What started as a wet, cold fall evening in Rockford turned into a hot night for the Rockford High School Marching Band (RHSMB) as they continued on their West Michigan winning streak at the West Shore Invitational hosted by Reeths-Puffer High School at Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium in Rockford on Saturday, October 28, 2017.The RHSMB’s 2017 show “TAO” emerged victorious claiming first place in Flight I as well as Flight I’s caption awards for Best Musical Perform, Best Marching Performance, and Best General Effect.

Saxophone soloist senior Asa Huffaker in the RHS Marching Band’s 2017 show “Tao”. Photo By Miles Postema

With a score of 94.625, Rockford secured their first place ranking in Flight I competition for the MCBA State Championships at Ford Field in Detroit on November 4, 2017. Rockford will be the last band to perform in Flight I and will begin their performance at 6:30 pm followed immediately by awards.

“We only have once chance to perform our very best for the judges at state,” explained senior trumpet player Sean McLellan. “There are no do-overs. All our hard work and dedication comes down to one 15 minute time slot on the field to put on the best show of the year.”

The road to the state championship began in June with music camp the week after school let out for the summer. In July, the 315 band members spent a week at pre-camp working on basic marching fundamentals at the high school followed by a week at Andrews University for band camp where the music and marching come together to create the show. Following camp, band has rehearsed from 2-5 days a week putting in over 300+ hours of practice time this fall. In addition to their competition show, they also have been working on the pre-game show for home football games and their performance in the 91st annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.

Rockford has placed in the top three bands in Flight I for the past eight years. A total of 48 bands in four flights from across the state perform in the daylong event. Flights are based on the total number of students enrolled in grades 10th, 11th, and 12th in each school.

Seniors Sean McLellan and Callahan Patrick perform in the award winning show “Tao” with the Rockford High School Marching Band. Photo by Miles Postema

Their 2017 show “TAO” features musical arrangements by Don Hill, Don Barrett and Ryan Miller. Alan Spaeth and Mitch Rogers created the visual design based on yin and yang.   Musical numbers include “Call of the Mountain” from Gates of Gold by Joseph Curiale and “Hope” from the Prayer Cycle by Alanis Morissette.