Brian Phillips

Rockford to host 30th marching band invitational

September 20, 2012 // 0 Comments

The Rockford High School Marching Band is proud to host its 30th annual Marching Band Invitational on Saturday, September 22, 2012. This year’s event is slated to be one of the most exciting ever, with 17 bands performing in competition and the Rockford Marching Band providing the finale with their exhibition performance of this year’s show entitled Calls from the Masai Mara. For those who may not be familiar with what a Marching Invitational involves, each band performs their 2012 show and are scored by professional judges on how they look, sound, and move. It is a great event for those who enjoy watching marching bands with other patrons who share their enthusiasm. Rockford’s band is expansive this year, with 262 dedicated members who are multitalented, and is under the exceptional leadership of director Brian Phillips. The Rockford Invitational begins at 3:25 p.m. with the playing of our National Anthem, continues throughout the afternoon with Rockford’s performance at 8:35 p.m. signaling the end of the event. The order of performances of the visiting bands will be posted on the Rockford Marching Band’s website, The cost for admission to the Invitational is $7.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors 60+ and students. Children 4 and under are free! You can purchase a Family Pass for a family of 4 or more for $20. Visitors will receive one Invitational program with each paid admission (Family Pass counting as 1). Extra programs can be purchased for $2.00. No Golden Age passes will be honored at this event as it is a fundraiser for the Rockford Marching Band. Gates open at 1:45 and the Concession Stand will be open all day! The students and parents of the Rockford High School Marching Band hope to see you there!

Rockford Band Invitational to be held this Saturday

September 15, 2011 // 0 Comments

The Rockford Marching Band Invitational will take place on Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium. Rockford’s band will host the event and perform in exhibition. Directed by Brian Phillips and led by drum majors John DeGuise, Jacob Hewitt, Ross Knoop and Christian Bomer, the Rockford High School (RHS) marching band will present its 2011 program entitled “Reactivity.” The gates will open at 1 p.m. The invitational will begin with the National Anthem at 2:40 p.m. The RHS marching band will perform in exhibition at 8:25 p.m., to be followed by the awards ceremony. Awards are given for the highest scores in each classification, and bands are ranked within their class. One band will receive the Grand Champion Award. Entrance fees are $7 for adults, $5 for students and seniors (age 60 and older), or $20 for a family of four or more. Senior Passes will not be honored, as this is a fundraiser for the band.

LETTERS TO THE LETTER — November 18, 2010

November 18, 2010 // 0 Comments

Reader thanks Rockford Community for support Dear Editor, I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of those in the Rockford community for their continued support of my family during my wife’s four-year battle with Melanoma Cancer, who passed away on Saturday, October 30, 2010. I especially want to thank ALL of the families, teachers and staff at Roguewood Elementary, Roguewood PTO, the Rockford Spanish Immersion Program, as well as White Pines Montessori for their selfless acts of kindness while their mother fought this courageous battle. I am honored to live in such a wonderful and caring community as Rockford. Sincerely, Joe Anderson Thanks to Brian Phillips—Rockford’s unsung hero Dear Editor, In these times of economic stress, jobs lost and larger class sizes in our school district, I would like to take the opportunity to shine the spotlight on one of the district’s unsung heroes: Brian Phillips. Mr. Phillips is the Director of Bands for Rockford Public Schools. He doesn’t make a lot of money. His budget is not of a grand magnitude. And he does not receive a fraction of the recognition he deserves. Mr. Phillips is a teacher who, every day, single-handedly guides, shapes and ultimately transforms students in grades nine through twelve. Yes, he has instructors who join him on the practice field on Monday nights. The instructors serve as support staff to Brian’s daily teachings. The instructors are responsible for guiding particular groups in the band, be it flutes, clarinets, drum line or low brass. But it is Mr. Phillips who teaches all of these students, all 224 of them, on a daily basis, with no assistance. He teaches them leadership, respect, integrity, honor, pride, responsibility and that not-so-small task of playing an instrument flawlessly while moving about on a football field with exact precision. All of these things are imparted to the students through Brian’s use of humor, clarity, kindness and ultimate expertise. He is modest, humble and always turns the spotlight back on the students. Without Mr. Phillips, however, we would not have achieved the ranking of “best marchers” in the entire state of Michigan, along with placing third amongst marching bands from all over the state Saturday, Nov. 6, at Ford Field in Detroit. This was our […]

Rockford marching band takes first at West Shore invitational

November 11, 2010 // 0 Comments

In their last regular season competition, the Rockford High School (RHS) marching band swept top honors in Flight I competition at the West Shore Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 30 with a score of 83.53 and won all caption awards for music, marching and general effect. Twenty-one bands participated in the invitational, which was held at Rockford’s Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium and was sponsored by Reeths-Puffer High School. Brian Phillips, RHS band director, was happy with band’s evening performance. “It was our best performance yet, by far, and the students and staff are all very excited about where the show is going. They have so much to be proud of!” Following the West Shore Invitational, Rockford is seeded fifth in Flight I state standings—based on the average of each band’s top two scores—with the Michigan Competing Band Association (MCBA). The top 11 bands in each flight competed at the MCBA state championship on Saturday, Nov. 6 at Ford Field in Detroit. Newaygo swept the field in Flight IV taking all captions and a score of 75.18. In Flight III, Stevensville Lakeshore took the caption for marching with a score of 77.56 behind first-place winner Byron Center, 77.91, who took music and general effect awards. In Flight II, Jenison dominated the field with a score of 84.91 and won all captions. Rockford’s 2010 show, entitled “Steel, Steam and Speed,” based on Frank Sullivan’s “Fast Track,” is a high-energy show and centers on the aesthetic sounds and experiences of locomotion.

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

December 3, 2009 // 0 Comments

Season 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 […]

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