MONTE VISTA — The Monte Vista High School Marching Band has won its third-straight State Championship and Pirates director Jason Paschall, couldn't be prouder.
"This is our third time in a row to win this,” Paschall said. “We Weren't able to compete in 2020 due to COVID. In 2019 we won, in 2021, we won, and now too. This is really great."
Paschall talked about what led up to the band’s recent win.
"So, for us everything starts, kind of after Stampede,” Paschall said. “Usually whatever we perform at Stampede, will be different than what we do in the fall. Right after Stampede, we switch gears to our fall marching production. We literally all put our heads down, and then we have tunnel vision for about 3 months.”
The Pirates’ show this year was called Divas, a nod toward powerful female voices.
“We had Aretha Franklin. We had Beyonce, and we had Whitney Houston,” Paschall said. “I picked that theme, because our band has 56 members, and six of them are boys and 50 of them are girls. I thought I would go with some strong, female figures, like women's empowerment.”
Normally, the band has a slate of home football games to perform at and prepare for state competition, but this year most of the home games were in the backend of the schedule.
“We didn't really have a lot of opportunities to show what we were doing until October came around,” Paschall said. “A lot of bands will go to the competitions around the end of September or early October, but for us that was going to be too expensive to try to do.”
Paschall said instead of a competition at that early point in the season, the band performed just down the road in Alamosa at an Adams State football game.
“It scratched the itch for us in a few ways, it got our kids in front of a different crowd, in an unfamiliar stadium, much like you would be in a competition on a different turf, with different markings on it,” he said. “College football fields have different markings than high school football fields and that's always kind of an adjustment for our kids. It just got us out of our comfort zone, that's what the kids need."
They also took advantage of their band appreciation night.
“This is an opportunity to have all our band members show off,” Paschall said. “So not just the high school marching band, but our middle school marching band and our beginning band, those that are just starting, too."
Paschall said every year there is a band appreciation night. The band appreciation night is a big fundraiser dinner, that allows family and friends to come out and support the band, by buying food at the dinner, and enjoying performances by the bands, including what the bands have been currently working on at the schools.
The day after the appreciation dinner was the regional marching competition at Liberty High School in Colorado Springs.
“The band performed and played really well,” Paschall said. “We ended up getting second at the competition. Our competition was Florence High School out of Canyon City. So, then we had our show designer shortly after that. He is out of Indiana, he writes marching band shows for lots of groups all over the country, and he actually flew in to work with our kids, for about the last week of our season.”
State competition was in Grand Junction on Halloween, Oct. 31. From all the regional competitions the top six 1A bands go to state and MVHS was in the top six.
There are two rounds of competition at state, one round in the morning and one in the evening.
“After the first round in the morning, we ended up being first out of all six, and then we made first for the final round as well," Paschall said.
Paschall said he never would have thought anything like this would happen.
"I never would have guessed this early on, that we would have so much success,” Paschall said. “This is a testament to the community and to the kids, and to the history of the program it's a really cool thing to see."
Paschall thanked the students for all their hard work and thanked Band Booster president Deanna Padilla.
Paschall said she has played a major role in making everything happen and making sure the kids were where they needed to be for everything.
"She was a critical part of our band program, and she has done a tremendous job taking care of things this year," Paschall said.