Woodard Junior High band garners high honor at festival
More than just the horn section has a lot to toot about these days where the band at Woodard Junior High is concerned.
The band recently spun a few memorable tunes at a regional music competition and marched away with a top honor.
"We scored an 'excellent,' which is like second place," said Thomas Ogilvie, band teacher at Woodard in Yuma. "I'm extremely proud of how they did that day. They really surprised me."
The competition was the Forum Music Festival in San Diego. The musicians from Woodard Junior High performed with other bands from Arizona, California and Nevada.
"They sounded very nice," Ogilvie said. "There are always things you can do to improve, because as musicians you're never done improving. You can always do better."
The band performed two pieces: "Drums of Darkness" and "Circus Maximus Concert March."
Forty-three band members attended the competition, representing the advanced group of Woodard's band. The school's total band program boasts 120 students.
"This was the first time we've attended," Ogilvie explained. "My students have done state festivals in Phoenix and they wanted to do something a little bigger and a little harder. They were willing to work and I had great support from the parental base willing to raise the funds needed to go."
The trip cost the band $13,600.
The band had been working on its competition pieces since February.
"I have a lot of very talented individual musicians this year and they really took the lead," the band teacher said. "A group of those students just wanted to work hard and they really worked hard together."
It's not clear if the band will shoot toward attending the competition again next year, but Ogilvie said he thinks the chances are good.
"It sounds like this may end up becoming a trend. Parents are very much for doing this next year and are already planning how to raise funds to get students there. Hopefully our students will set a precedent for what music is like in Yuma, really show people that Yuma has thriving music in its school system."
Darin Fenger can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6860.