UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY — Colorado's state marching band championship competitions took place this weekend, starting Friday and running through Monday. The event brings together students from across the state to share in the experience of live music.
"Marching band is kind of my life right now, and I absolutely love it," said Grace Spencer, a drum major with Heritage High School's Scarlet Regiment from Littleton, Colorado.
Participating students said they had spent months preparing for this weekend's competition, many committing themselves to up to 20 hours a week of practice and rehearsal.
"You can't just pick up an instrument every so often and be good at it," said Lena Paulson, a drum major with Chatfield Senior High's marching band from Littleton, Colorado.
Despite the countless hours of practice, parents and performers alike said they were nervous to take the field and stands.
"I do get nervous for them. There's a couple solos; I always get nervous for the soloists," said Luis Marketos, a parent with Chatfield High.
Despite the nerves, many students said the overwhelming sense of marching band is one of belonging.
"It gives me more of a home and an environment. It's a big family overall," said Mandi Olivas, a color guard member with the Horizon High School's marching band from Thornton, Colorado.
Many marchers said the experience was the best they had ever had and they anticipate they will continue to perform and remain close to those they perform with for the rest of their lives.
"The music is cool, the people are cool, everything is just amazing ... If you get the chance to do band and you're not already in band, do it," said Spencer.
Results from the Colorado Bandmasters Association will be shared by News5 following Monday's 1A, 2A, and 3A semi-finals and finals, held in Pueblo, Colorado at Colorado State University, Pueblo's Thunderbowl Stadium.
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