DHS concert band shines at regional competition

Lily Longan, Reporter

 In a competition of over 120 bands, Durango High School concert band has defied all odds, including beating out front range 5A schools in order to qualify for state competition for the first time in over 40 years.

    On Monday, March 5th, the DHS concert band went to regionals in Palisade, Colorado. The band took two charts to regionals, “Latin American Dances” by Clifton Jameson Jones and “Perthshire Majesty by Samuel R. Hazo.

    Band director of seven years, Katherine Reed, was more than satisfied with the band’s performance at regionals.

    “I thought the band did phenomenal. I think overall the kids had a great time of getting into the music and I think that is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome,” said Reed.

    The band made DHS history when they qualified for state, but student leadership is ready to take them to the next level of success.

    “Because we made history with our regional scores, the band will become more successful and grow for the better,” said So. Ella Gavlinski.

     As the band continues to grow both participation and achievement wise, they receive more opportunities to show off their hard work. One of these opportunities was the chance to go to state with concert band. The DHS music group has had a state-qualifying marching band for the last 5 years, but qualifying for state concert band was a phenomenon that had not been encountered for over 30 years.

    When Director Katherine Reed first started working at the school, she was a ¾ time teacher in charge of both the orchestra and band programs.

    “There were about 17 kids in the band and 12 in the orchestra. The whole purpose of them hiring me was to rebuild the program so I said, ‘ok, let’s do this’,” said Reed.

    Despite the band’s small starting numbers, they eventually grew into the modern population of around 100 kids. Every year the band continues to grow and be more successful. The students contribute their continued success to Mrs. Reed’s hard work in rebuilding the DHS music program.

    “In all aspects, I think it comes down to Reed, because she is a fantastic band director and she is able to point out the problems and give us the tools to fix those problems,” said Jr. Holden Becher.

    The band has been making huge strides towards their goals. Out of participants from around the state, few other 3A schools have qualified for state this year.

    “I’m at a loss for words to describe how well we have improved, even after each consecutive year,” said Sr. and Drum Major Chandler  Jeep.

    Directors and students alike were happily surprised when the results came in.

    “I think the word that comes to mind is surreal. It is a very crazy experience and feeling to have come from where we were to here, the growth of the students has been outstanding,” said Reed.

    Students all across the band were ecstatic when the results came in, but it was an especially memorable event for the current seniors of the band.

    “I was in shock. I was surprised and I was super happy. It was the first time concert band had gone to state, and I was still in highschool when it happened,” said Jeep.

  The band went to state on April 16th in Fort Collins, and performed on the Griffin Concert Hall stage at Colorado State University. On a scale from 1 being superior (the top rating) to five being unprepared, the band got a rating of 2, an excellent.