Rockford Marching Band defends title at the West Shore Invitational

The band begins the formation of one of their three stars in the middle of their opener. Photo by Eric Kramer

By Lindsey Schmidt and Emma Kramer

With a score of 94.575, the Rockford High School Marching Band (RHSMB) continued their winning streak Saturday, October 27, 2018 as they took home the title of Grand Champion and all the caption awards for Best Music, Best Visual, and Best General Effect at the West Shore Invitational hosted by Reeths-Puffer High School at Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium. This was the highest score posted for all competing bands across the state as they vied for a position to play at the Michigan Competing Band Association (MCBA) State Championship on November 3, 2018. Currently, RHSMB is the reigning champion in Flight I competition.

The Rockford High School Marching Band points to the stars as they end their fourth and final movement. Photo by Ellie Guetschow

Senior Drum Major Britney Nicholson says she “never thought about [the RHSMB] having a ‘title’ to defend until [they] performed at the Reeths-Puffer Invitational. We were on the field waiting to get the go ahead, and it clicked in my head that these people were waiting for our show. It had never been about a title to defend; I’ve always looked forward to our next best show. I believe that being on our home turf for the seniors’ last time gave us the energy to put out a really solid show that night.”

The RHSMB remains the top band in the state with a combined score of 94.438 from the two MCBA competitions they have participated in. As for how the some of the students feel about going to the MCBA State Championship next weekend, junior drum major Brandon Guetschow stated, “I just want to congratulate our band. They have put so much hard work and effort into our show this year. Their growth is showing each and every week. It helps that we are all out here doing something that we love. I am so proud to be a part of such an amazing group.” Other students agree. Sophomore drum major Hannah Prost stated: “Each week we spend hours and hours improving our show to make it the best it can be. Many nerves are going into this week, but I’m just so excited to show people who want to see us perform what we’ve been working on! It is our time to shine no matter what the outcome!”

As each band prepares for MCBA State Finals this week, the West Michigan area dominates the field. Currently holding first place in their respective flights are Jenison (Flight II) with a score of 92.8, Muskegon’s Reeths-Puffer (Flight III) with a score of 92.938, and Wyoming Godwin Heights (Flight V) with a score of 88.938. Ferndale High School, located in the Metropolitan Detroit area, leads in Flight IV with a score of 89.613. A total of 12 bands in each flight will perform at for the state championship next weekend.

State Finals will be held on November 3, 2018 at Ford Field in Detroit. Ticket booths open at 7:00 a.m., and gates open at 7:15 a.m. State Championship shows begin at 8:00 a.m. with Flight II bands. Following Flight II will be Flight I at 11:15 a.m. The day continues with Flight V at 2:00 p.m., Flight IV at 5:30 p.m., and Flight III at 8:15 p.m. Awards will be held after Flights II, V, and III. The RHSMB will perform at 1:30 p.m.

Admission for the event is cash only and is as follows: $20.00 for adults, $15.00 for students/seniors, and free for children 5 & under. Parking in Ford Field lots is $6.00. The NFL Bag Policy will be enforced.