May 23, 2024 2:07 pm
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The Intensive Training of Colorado’s Competitive Marching Bands

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Armand Jackson

As summer break is nearing an end and many Colorado high school athletes are preparing for their upcoming competitive seasons, the state’s high school marching bands have also begun preparations for their upcoming competitive field performances, according to KUSA 9 News. Band members take part in pre-season band camps where they learn how to march and play their shows for competitions. These camps are usually held during the first weeks of August, typically lasting eight to ten hours a day for about two weeks. Throughout their time there, band members do calisthenics, run, and play in order to get in proper physical shape for their extensive season. 

All of this is necessary so they can learn to perform a six and a half minute show where they’ll march, run, play their instruments, and toss flags. Afterwards, band members have rehearsals before, during and after school to perfect the show that audiences see during halftime. In high school, the weekend competitions where marching bands compete against each other begin in September. These seasonal competitions culminate into the Colorado Bandmasters Association (CBA) state championships in the late fall around November. With this level of physical demand and preparation, some are wondering if marching band should be considered a sport. 

Jack Brockhagen, senior trumpet player for Fossil Ridge High School likes to think of it as one. He has stated: “Not only are we dancing and marching, but we’re also sprinting up and down these fields, doing stretches, bonding as a team, working out together just to become better athletes and better musicians.” While some would argue that because the focus of marching band is more about musical performances, it does not equate to being a sport like football or track and field. Regardless, there is something to be praised for young band performers who put in a great deal of effort into their physical and musical training to perform at their best in a competitive season.