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Marching bands come to Holt Arena

Holt Arena in Pocatelo was filled with the sounds of music on Saturday – the sound of marching bands, to be exact.

Idaho State University played host to the 2017 Mountain West Marching Band Invitational. Bands from around Idaho and even Nevada performed.

Twenty two high school marching bands took the field at Holt Arena on Saturday. Some played music from Billy Joel, others played songs from Les Miserables or the Beatles. With all different music, formations and uniforms, each band brought something different to the table.

Bands competed in divisions based on how many students were performing. Each division was given awards in music, visual, percussion and auxillary.

Some of the band students said even though there are awards, they don’t necessarily view it as a competition – but more of an experience for learning and growth.

“It give you a goal set so you see how they are and you think, ‘I want to be like that,'” said Kyra Finner, band president at Shelley High School. “So you come back and the whole band is just pumped to go to the next thing or they all are super inspired to try harder.”

“With us, it’s not winning or losing,” said Gary Pawelko, band instructor at Shelley High School. “We’re going to go one week, we’re going to get our scores this week and we’re going to look and say, ‘Oh, here’s where we’re at.’ But then we’re just going to go to the next week and say, ‘How can we do better this next week?'”

Each band puts in several hours of practice each week, as well as multiple band camps and just a lot of hard work. But band members said it’s worth it.

“I’m just super happy with how we did,” Finner said.

“A lot of fun,” said Nichole Lloyd, drum major with Shelley High School. “I was really, really shaky but it was really fun.”

“I’m so proud,” Pawelko said. “They’re wonderful students. They threw their entire effort and all their energies toward this.”

For Hillcrest High School, this performance was even a little more special. This is the first year Hillcrest has had a competitive band, so this was their first competition.

“It was just an amazing feeling,” said Daphne Tholen, band member at Hillcrest. “All of us putting our whole souls out there, it was so cool.”

“I am so proud of this band,” said Emily Spafford, Hillcrest color guard member. “We’ve done so great, even in this first competition ever, I feel like we did amazing.”

“We’ve never gone to a competition before so this was really exciting and nerve-wracking all at the same time,” said Nicole Crasper, drum major with Hillcrest.

“I was really nervous at first but as we got on, it felt great to be competing for the first time in our school’s history,” said James O’Connor, with Hillcrest band.

“That was an incredible experience,” said Andrew Cziep, Hillcrest band. “I’ve never done anything like that. I’m just a sophomore and last year we didn’t do this and so just being out there and being able to perform and leave your soul on the field was incredible.”

There is another competition next week in Burley.

The final results from Saturday’s competition at Holt Arena are listed below:

1-A class
1st place: Blackfoot HS
2nd place: Pocatello HS
3rd place: Hillcrest HS
Outstanding musical performance: Blackfoot HS
Outstanding auxillary: Blackfoot HS
Outstanding visual performance: Pocatello HS
Outstanding percussion: Pocatello HS

2-A class
1st place: Idaho Falls HS
2nd place: Parma HS
3rd place: Elko, NV HS
Outstanding musical performance: Idaho Falls HS
Outstanding auxillary: Preston HS
Outstanding visual performance: Idaho Falls HS
Outstanding percussion: Idaho Falls HS

3-A class
1st place: Highland HS
2nd place: Burley HS
Outstanding musical performance: Highland HS
Outstanding auxillary: Burley HS
Outstanding visual performance: Highland HS
Outstanding percussion: Highland HS

4-A class
1st place: Madison HS
2nd place: Century HS
3rd place: Borah HS
Outstanding musical performance: Madison HS
Outstanding auxillary: Century HS
Outstanding visual performance: Century HS
Outstanding percussion: Borah HS

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