Grand Rapids Marching Band flies high | News

After a year-long hiatus, the Grand Rapids Marching Band returned to competitions this year and took first place in the Class 2A Rosemount Marching Band Festival on Saturday, September 25th.

At Rosemount, senior baritone saxophonist Chlole Lee was named Best Soloist by Grand Rapids. Grand Rapids also received the best drumline and the best color guard. Ava Peters and Shea Huffman were named best drum majors.

Later that night, Grand Rapids traveled to the Irondale Music of the Knights competition where they took second place in Class 3A. Grand Rapids also received the Best Color Guard award.

This year’s performance is a space show entitled “Planet X”. The show was produced by Wes Cartwright, one of the country’s leading show designers. The music was written by Colton Hines.

Last year, the Grand Rapids Marching Band did not participate in regular competitions due to the pandemic. Band director Dale Gunderson said several competitive marching bands across the area declined after the pandemic, but Grand Rapids was able to keep a larger percentage of the students in the program.

The brass band was able to hold small events and practice in groups last year. Gunderson said this likely helped keep the students busy and ready to start this competitive season.

“The kids worked super hard and they were rewarded for that hard work,” said Gunderson. “It’s fun to take part in competitions again and to perform in front of an audience.”

Two weeks ago, Grand Rapids took third place and best color guard at the Prairie Colors Marching Band Competition in Eden Prairie. Brandon Valley, SD was awarded first place.

Grand Rapids bounced back later that night with a first spot on the Eastview Home Show. The band also received Best Color Guard, Best Drum Majors, and Best Drumline.

Next up, the Grand Rapids Marching Band will compete in the Youth in Music Championships at US Bank Stadium on Saturday, October 9th. Another 32 bands from several countries will take part in the championships.

The band will also perform during the Grand Rapids football team’s last two home games on Friday October 15th against Evelet-Gilbert and Wednesday October 20th against Denfeld.

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