GF band marches on to state
The Green Forest High School Band has had an out-of-this-world season, and it’s not just because of this marching show’s “Extraterrestrial” theme.
The band has taken home several wins the past few weeks. The band won second place in class at the Pea Ridge Blackhawk Marching Classic. At the War Eagle Classic marching band competition in Rogers this past weekend, the band won outstanding percussion, outstanding color guard and outstanding music in class. The band also won Grand Champion for color guard and placed third overall in the competition.
This Tuesday, the band went to the regional marching assessment in Rogers and scored an Excellent rating, qualifying Green Forest for the state marching contest in two weeks on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at War Memorial Stadium in Rogers.
Band directors Sarah and Jon Taylor said it is a dream come true to see their students performing so well.
“Six years ago when Sarah started here and five years ago when I started here, we had a dream,” Jon Taylor said, “that there’s no reason why this band program can’t be one of the excellent band programs you hear about when it comes to a small school. We thought ‘Why not here?’”
He said they and the students have worked for years to build up the program to what it is now.
“We worked and worked on building a program that the kids can be proud of, that we can be proud of and that the community can be proud of,” he said. “Every day, these kids come out and work. Every day, they make this their band program.”
Jon Taylor continued, “It’s theirs. They love it, and we love it and we love them. We’re just excited to have the ability and support to do what we need to do.”
The students were also excited about the band’s success and are looking forward to competing at the state marching contest.
“They didn’t have the state marching contest until two years ago,” said senior Kevin Solorzano, low voices section leader. “We didn’t go until last year, so it’s fun to be able to go again our senior year.”
He said they were excited to perform in such a large stadium. Flute section leader Emily Solis said qualifying for state was the most exciting win this season.
“We’re going to have to clean up sets and work on dynamics,” said senior Ethan Agdeppa. “That’s a big thing for percussion.”
“We’re going to make the best of it,” said senior Elisha Piatt, clarinet section leader.
Senior Eliza Ponce, the color guard captain, said it was exciting to win Grand Champion for color guard at the War Eagle Classic.
“It was really awesome because we haven’t won a trophy in forever,” she said. “I was really really proud of my girls.”
Solis said the band’s success at competitions took a lot of work.
“We put a lot of effort into it, but it all pays off in the end,” she said.
“The fact that there are so many freshmen is impressive,” Agdeppa said. “It’s about half the band this year.”
“It was kind of hard this year to get everyone in gear,” Solis said.
“Only having two main original drum line people has been hard,” Agdeppa said. “You have to start from scratch and build them up to where they are now.”
The students said they’re glad they have carried on the success the band has had the past few years.
“I’ve been glad to keep the same success we’ve had before over the years when other seniors have graduated,” Agdeppa said.
“We had a bit of a scare in the beginning because we weren’t learning our music or our show fast enough,” Solorzano said. “So it was really cool to be able to get it all in line before the last second.”
“Hopefully, what we’ve done in the past four years will last a while,” Agdeppa said.
“Hopefully, we’ll win at state,” Solis said.