MONTE VISTA — The Monte Vista High School Marching Band turned a record-setting performance on the way to defending its 1A state title earlier this month.
At CSUP Thunder Bowl Stadium in Pueblo, the Pirates Marching Band took first place in performance and loudness and broke a school record in the 1A division of the state high school band competition.
MVHS Band Director Jason Paschall has been teaching Monte Vista High School band for five years. MVHS advanced to the state final after winning its regional in October.
This year there were 12 1A bands competing across the state at different regional competitions. The top six moved onto the state level, Paschall said. At state, there are two rounds of competition, one round in the morning, it is called the semifinal round, and then the top three from that, are in the final round of the evening.
“In a pretty cool turn of events, Monte Vista Band at regionals was first, at the first round at state competition was first, and the final round was first,” Paschall said, adding they set a personal best in scoring along the way.
The record-breaking score was based on a 100-point grading system, Paschall said.
“Typically bands in the 1A category don’t score much above the upper 60s,” Paschall said. “This year we were able to score above 70 which is really cool.”
Band member Sahara Rodriguez was excited about winning state again.
“Winning state back-to-back, has been a huge accomplishment for Monte Vista,” Rodriguez said. We were able to change the way our community views the band, and all the hard work it really takes. A huge thank you to our Band Director Jason Paschall and Justin Romero for pushing us to our fullest potential and reminding us of our importance. We have and will continue to make Monte Vista proud.”
Long-time band volunteer and mother of Sahara Rodriguez, Raenell Valdez Rodriguez, was also excited about the win.
“The kids have really worked hard for this, they have been attending practices from 9-12 since school started,” Raenell Valdez Rodriguez said. “Being that I have a couple of state titles under my belt, I was happy for my daughter to experience it, too.”
She said many people contributed behind the scenes for the band program.
“There are many parent volunteers who put in their time and dedication to this for their children,” Raenell Valdez Rodriguez said. “It is wonderful to see it, and you know without them, none of this would be possible for our children.”
On Monday, Dec. 20, the Monte Vista High School band will shift to its concert season and host a holiday concert. Paschall added they are planning for two concerts that will take place sometime in March and May of 2022.
Paschall said that he likes teaching at the Monte Vista School District and that it is quite different from his previous work as a professional musician.
“It (teaching) certainly is more rewarding than my previous job, and I really enjoy teaching, and the kids,” he said.
For more information on the Monte Vista High School Band, visit the Monte Vista School District Facebook page.