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BHS Marching Wolverines win regionals

Bayfield High School took its 2018 marching band routine, "Salute to Sports" to regional competition Thursday in Grand Junction. They won the competition, scoring 53.2 points.

There are 58 members of the Marching Wolverines this year, including seven in the color guard. The routine features "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," "Sweet Georgia Brown," also known as the Harlem Globetrotters theme, and two football-related themes, "NFL on Fox" and "Remember the Titans."

Band's strengths this marching season are strong high woodwinds, said Derek Smith, the BHS music director. "The flutes and clarinets have some challenging parts and really tackled them like champs," he said. The low brass, led by Reed Merchant on baritone and Matthew Nawrocki on tuba, "really lay that foundation" for the rest of the band to follow.

This year's senior drum major is Walker Thayer.

"He has done a great job holding them together," Smith said. "He's really just leading them very well."

Amber Stephenson is the junior drum major, and she "has learned a lot in a short time."

"We've been practicing long and hard for four months," Thayer said. Thursday "will be the day that pays off." This year's band members bring dedication and determination to the upcoming regional competitions.

"We confront any challenge that we've been thrown, just blow right through it's like it's butter," Thayer said. "We've practiced in the rain and cold, and that takes a lot of discipline."

Bayfield is set to compete in the 1A Western regional competition of the Colorado Bandmasters Association at 1 p.m. Thursday.

After returning from Junction, the band leaves shortly afterward to compete Saturday in the Pageant of Bands at Wilson Stadium in Albuquerque.

"That will be a good contest," Smith said. "We have never played in the pageant before."

The band has several players who also compete in soccer and football, so in a logistical flourish, parents will get their sons from Grand Junction to Pagosa Springs for Friday's football game, and to Alamosa for soccer.

"We have some super-dedicated musicians-athletes at this school."

Smith also thanked members of the Bayfield Association for the Advancement of Music for arranging food, snacks and accommodations for the band.

Smith said a lot of musicians graduated last year, so this had been a bit a of a re-building year.

"I am really proud of these guys," he said of the band and colorguard members.

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