Springville High march­ing band look­ing to grow

Serve Daily - - BUILDING COMMUNITY - By Amy Gab­bitas

What sport re­quires all team mem­bers to play ev­ery minute of ev­ery game re­gard­less of their abil­ity? The play­ers also ded­i­cate sev­eral weeks ev­ery sum­mer and early morn­ings dur­ing the school year to prac­tice, of­ten in ex­treme heat, rain or cold. Do­ing this teaches per­se­ver­ance, hard work and ded­i­ca­tion to the team. Hun­dreds of high school stu­dents all over the Nebo School Dis­trict par­tic­i­pate.

The sport is march­ing band. Utah Val­ley has a long tra­di­tion of march­ing band. In re­cent years, the Nebo School Dis­trict has fielded small bands, but the tide is chang­ing. Re­cently I in­ter­viewed Christi Conover Bab­bitt. She and her hus­band, Ray, were both in the Springville High School Red Devil March­ing Band in the mid-1980s. At that time, the SHS march­ing band had about 80 play­ers and color guard mem­bers march­ing on the field. SHS trav­eled to Wash­ing­ton, D.C., in 1985 to march in Pres­i­dent Ron­ald Rea­gan’s sec­ond in­au­gu­ral pa­rade.

One of my fa­vorite things about liv­ing in a small town is hear­ing sto­ries like th­ese from long-time res­i­dents. We moved here re­cently and our chil­dren march with Springville. This sea­son they won third over­all at Nebo Tour­na­ment of Bands and won first place for Color Guard at Brigham Young Univer­sity’s Rocky Moun­tain In­vi­ta­tional com­pe­ti­tion. They also par­tic­i­pated in the state fi­nals in St. Ge­orge and trav­eled to Dis­ney­land. You prob­a­bly heard them at SHS home foot­ball games or when they prac­ticed march­ing up and down your street. Their strength is march­ing and vis­ual. Mu­si­cal­ity is where they strug­gle. With only 20 winds and 10 per­cus­sion­ists, pro­duc­ing a large sound is dif­fi­cult but not im­pos­si­ble if they re­ceived more in­struc­tion.

Cham­ber mu­sic is an­other ensem­ble where each mem­ber is vi­tally im­por­tant. Aspen Winds Quin­tet and Boothe Broth­ers mu­sic are spon­sor­ing a cham­ber mu­sic pro­gram at SHS fo­cused on plac­ing each con­cert band stu­dent in a small cham­ber group. The open­ing event for this pro­gram is a free fam­ily con­cert at the Covey Cen­ter for the Arts in Provo on Mon­day, Jan­uary 4, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. It will fea­ture the Aspen Winds and ball­room dancers Casey and Kayci Treu. Boothe Broth­ers Mu­sic will host the fi­nal con­cert in Fe­bru­ary. For­mer SHS band alumni or other in­stru­men­tal­ists in­ter­ested in coach­ing one of th­ese en­sem­bles are wel­come to vol­un­teer. Any busi­nesses that would like to of­fer small prizes as in­cen­tives would also be wel­come. The goal is to get at least five groups to qual­ify for re­gional solo/en­sem­bles in March. Let’s help this pro­gram con­tinue to grow!

More in­for­ma­tion can be found at www.as­pen­winds.org or send an email to amy@as­pen­winds.org.

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