Marching Band: The Road To State


Pirateer Staff

Band Director Phil Emery (in blue jacket) organizes students ahead of the state competition.

Angelo Potter, Pirateer Staff

Update: Marching band took home 3rd place at the state competition in Pueblo on 10/29/2018.

“It felt great winning, there is always work to do, but to be a part of something that’s great and working together as a family,” said Mikayla Frye (11). She can hardly contain her excitement. It has been a whirlwind for members of the marching band who just returned from the regional state competition.
“It’s a great achievement to be a part of something that wins and to be apart of a family. We work hard every day to do something great with the people that I care about,” said Evan Dalton (11).
The Englewood Marching Band once again qualified for state and spent three days in Pueblo taking part in the competition. The marching band tunes up in July and begins weeks and weeks of early morning practices. Musicians must learn marching positions, and perfect the music. It takes four months to get it all right.
Senior drum major Ben Fritzsche (12) leads rehearsal and gets musicians ready for competition. He keeps them on track and makes sure each musician is on time and instep. He is excited that their hard work has let to this big moment, “For state, first obviously. And if not first, second. And if not second, third.”
Englewood is steeped in musical tradition with district and state wins going back to the 1930’s. Band director Phil Emery has led this group for seven years, “We’ve put in several hundreds of hours of work and we have a pretty good product to show for it.”
Emery says this years group is special, “I’m proud of the attitude that we’ve had in this group. I’ve said this before. This is the first time in years we haven’t had kids with significant behavioral issues. They are humble about their abilities and even though we are a young group we are achieving at a high level.”
The students left Sunday for the competition, once there, “We rehearse for three hours at my old high school, my alma mater which is kind of ironic, go to the hotel that evening, get up in the morning and do some visual stuff in the ballroom that morning. Then we will head to the site for prelims at 3:15. There is a drum major retreat, then a full band retreat at the end where they recognize which band placed where,” said Emery.
He knows his band deserves this shot, “ It’s very competitive so we’re working overtime.” Hard work pays off.