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Ava Pride Band Has Exciting Fall Season; Many Students Excel In Competition

By Sarah and Chris Sacco, Ava Band Directors

Wow!!!  It has been quite the fall season for the Ava Pride Band Department!  The students hit the ground running this fall and still haven’t stopped!  The fall began as it always has, with a successful marching season.

The band performed at four home football games (they missed one due to inclement weather conditions) and three marching band competitions.

This year’s marching show, titled “The Dreamer”, followed a young girl as she fell asleep to a lullaby and awoke in a nightmare.

The show’s “Dreamer”, senior colorguard member Eliza Higley, did a great job of portraying the frightful adventure through the nightmare and back to a peaceful slumber. The show was littered with solos and duets, which received recognition at several of the marching competitions.  These were performed by Nathan Weathersbee, Destiny Schroeder, Jimmy Roffmann, and Kim Copeland.

The band took 2nd place with their performance at the first competition; the Valhalla Marching Festival at Parkview High School in Springfield. This was a huge feat as the highest the band has ever placed at the competition was 6th.

The following week the band took 3rd in their division at the Ozark Mountain Marching Festival in Reeds Spring. They also received the award for “Outstanding Soloist.”

The band went on to finals but could not be ranked due to the event being cut short because of inclement weather.

Lastly, the band traveled to Carthage, Mo., for the final competition; the Maple Leaf Marching Festival. It was at this festival that the band truly stood out! They received 1st place in their division and swept the awards, receiving “Outstanding Drum Major”, “Best Horn Line”, “Best Colorguard” and “Best Percussion.” The band went on to receive 3rd place in finals, being edged out by Lebanon and Glendale High Schools.  These are bands with well over 100 members!  Needless to say, the Ava Pride Band represented their school and community well!

Marching Season Recap

1. Valhalla Marching Festival, Parkview HS, Springfield, Oct. 6, Preliminary Performance, 2nd Place – Class B.

2. Ozark Mountain Marching Festival, Reeds Spring HS, Reeds Spring, Oct. 13, Preliminary Performance, 3rd Place – Class B; Outstanding Soloist; Finals performance cancelled (inclement weather).

3. Maple Leaf Marching Festival, Carthage HS, Carthage, Oct. 20, Preliminary Performance, 1st Place – Class B; Outstanding Drum Major; Best Horn Line; Best Colorguard; Best Percussion. Finals Performance, 3rd Place Overall.

Special assistance was provided by the Ava Pride Band Boosters, the Breshears family, Crosspoint Church, United Methodist Church, and the Church of the Nazarene at the competitions, cheering them on, providing lunches, and necessary equipment to have a successful show, and taking care of the students when they needed you!

Special Honors

Several Ava Pride Band students have also been selected to perform with various prestigious marching groups across the country!

Eliza Higley was selected to be a part of the Macy’s Great American Marching Band, performing for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City; Ama Adams was selected to be a part of the Bands of America Band, performing for the Rose Bowl Parade in Pasadena, Calif.; Jimmy Roffmann was selected to be a part of the Army All-American Marching Band, performing at the Army All-American High School Football Game in the Alamo Dome in San Antonio, Texas.

All of these groups have the best students from band programs all over the United States!!  It is amazing how much the band students are able to accomplish!

All-District Bands

On Tuesday, Nov. 6, a dozen high school band students traveled to Parkview High School in Springfield to audition for a place in one of the two South Central All-District Bands as well as the All-District Jazz Band. The students were up against the best musicians from over 40 schools in the South Central District and came out with great success!

The students will be performing in one of the two bands on Saturday, Jan. 26, at Central High School in Springfield.

Results are as follows:

All-District Honor Band – Kim Copeland, 11th chair flute; Shelagh Orcutt, 1st chair contra-alto clarinet*; Jimmy Roffmann, 2nd chair alto saxophone, Jimmy Roffmann, 1st chair baritone saxophone*; Shelden Walker, 1st chair tympani (percussion)

All-District Concert Band – Elizabeth Ferguson, 1st chair piccolo; Emily Armour, 3rd chair clarinet; Scotlyn Canape, 13th chair clarinet; Shelagh Orcutt, 4th chair bass clarinet; Matthew Freeman, 6th chair tuba.

All-District Jazz Band – Jimmy Roffmann, 1st chair alto saxophone*; Jimmy Roffmann, 1st chair baritone saxophone

*Indicates the instrument that the students chose if they auditioned on more than one.

Mr. and Mrs. Sacco are very proud of all students who participated regardless of whether they made it into one of the bands.  The hard work that they put into their auditions will contribute to the band program’s overall success.

“Taps” Competition

As the marching season came to a close, the Ava Pride trumpet section traveled to Missouri State University to perform in the TAPS project on Friday, Nov. 9.  They were placed in various positions around the campus to play “Taps” in a continuous echo along with the Missouri State trumpets and several professional trumpeters to honor those U.S. troops who have fought to defend this country.

Participating members included director Chris Sacco, Nathan Weathersbee, Destiny Schroeder, Monica Corum, Andrew Giorgianni, and Makoy Gehrke.

Ava Middle School Band

On Saturday, Nov. 17, eight Middle School band students traveled to Marshfield Junior High to participate in the South Central All-District Junior High Honor Bands.  Jimmy Roffmann traveled as well for his performance in the All-District Jazz Band.

The students and the results of their auditions are as follows:

7th Grade All-District Band – Belle Giorgianni, 3rd chair clarinet; Drew Adams, 3rd chair tenor saxophone; Madison Irby, 3rd chair French horn; Austin Beverlin , 3rd chair tuba.

8th Grade All-District Band – Lexi Eggleston, 4th chair clarinet; Madalyn Barnes, 4th chair French horn; Caleb Johnson, 3rd chair Trumpet; Davyn Orcutt, 7th chair trombone.

On Saturday, Dec. 1, five high school band students traveled to Hickman High School in Columbia to audition for the All-State Band.

Those students were chosen based on their auditions at the district level. The students included Kim Copeland, Elizabeth Ferguson, Shelagh Orcutt, Jimmy Roffmann, and Shelden Walker.

After a long day of auditioning and waiting, the Ava Pride Band will have a student in the All-State Band!

Jimmy Roffmann made 1st chair baritone saxophone in the All-State Concert Band as well as 1st chair baritone saxophone in the All-State Jazz Band.  Due to the unfortunate fact that the two bands have rehearsals at the same time, Jimmy has chosen to participate in the All-State Concert Band.

The performance of the All-State Concert Band will be on Saturday, Jan. 26, at the Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach.

On Saturday, Dec. 8, the Ava Pride Marching Band along with the middle school students performed in the Ava Christmas Parade.

With just over 100 students marching down the street, the attending community was fortunate enough to see the future of the high school band!

The program has grown in size over the past five years with more than 170 members in grades 5-12.

The student interest and participation is outstanding and their dedication shows in their performances and everyday values.  The band program is dedicated to developing students as individuals as well as members of a team.  It strives to instill a sense of family and community.

Mr. and Mrs. Sacco and the Ava Pride Band credit the Ava R-I School Board, administration and community members for their relentless support. The program would not be as successful as it is without this community support.