Marching Prospectors Take First Place

8th Annual ‘Sounds of the San Tans’ marching band competition ranks AJHS at the top

By Dana Trumbull

On Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, under the direction of newly hired Director of Instrumental Music Jaclyn Chappel, the Apache Junction High School band stepped into First Place in the “Sounds Along the San Tans” invitational band competition, hosted by Basha High School (Chandler Unified School District). The Marching Prospectors competed against three other division IV schools including Casteel, Florence and Vista Grande.

“The band worked so hard and were absolutely thrilled to be ranked 1st in our division,” commented Chappel. “It was a great experience and the Basha High School Band made great hosts.”

AJHS was also awarded with plaques for “Outstanding Music Performance” and “Outstanding General Effect.”

Music festivals, both instrumental and vocal, are often “rated,” meaning the competing groups are given a label (superior, excellent, good, fair) based on a numerical score. As a result, multiple schools will receive the same rating without consideration of how other bands or choirs compared. Most of the competitions in which AJHS have participated in past years were adjudicated in this manner. Other performance competitions, such as the Basha Invitational, are “ranked,” meaning the bands are given numerical scores based on their performance and then are compared to other groups in the same division and ranked accordingly. “Both systems have their value,” said Chappel. “I personally prefer rankings, because it very clearly lays out how we compare with other bands of our size.”

Chappel continued, “As eager as I am about the first place ranking, though, I don’t want to put too much emphasis on ‘winning,’ because there is always room to grow. We might have had the highest score in our division this time, but we still have a ton of work to do on the show. This is a great group of students – very dedicated – and I am eager to see where this season will take us.”

The Prospectors competed at Sabino High School, Tucson Unified School District, on Saturday, September 30. Results were not available by press time.

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