The Rockford High School marching band once again came out on top in Flight I competition, at the Allegan Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 24. Rockford placed third overall among 20 high school bands in the Michigan Competing Band Association (MCBA) competition with a score of 76.8. Brian Phillips, Rockford marching band director, credits his students for their stellar performance with the adverse weather conditions, an area in which he was hoping to see some improvement after the Belding Invitational. “It was cold, rainy, and the field was in terrible condition. Ironically, we had our strongest show of the year. That is exactly the kind of mental focus we need! They should be proud,” said Phillips. Allegan spread “quick dry” on its rain-soaked field prior to the competition in an effort to provide much needed traction for participants, although the band still experienced six students slipping in the mud and falling to the ground during the performance. “The conditions at Allegan made it very difficult for the band to stay on their feet,” said Patt Clement, president of the Rockford Band Parent Association. “In one case, a sousaphone player fell and it caused another sousaphone player to trip over him which, in turn, damaged the instrument.” With one remaining MCBA event, the Reeths-Puffer Invitational on Oct. 31, the band moves into the MCBA champion contest at Ford Field on Saturday, Nov. 7. “One of our goals is to achieve our highest level of excellence possible,” said Phillips. “We know we can’t ‘win’ state finals. We are in a flight where there are several bands that practice every day after school for several hours. We meet only one night per week for three hours. However, we don’t look at that as a limitation; we look at it as a challenge to see what we can do with the limited time we have. We currently ‘place’ higher than many bands that rehearse much more than we do. We simply want to be as great as possible.” Phillips added, “I also want our students to have a life-enriching, musical experience in band—one that they will remember for their life, and can be proud of.” For more information visit www.rockfordbands.org.