KINGMAN - The Kingman High Marching Band rang in the New Year by participating in the Fiesta Bowl Parade and Marching Championships, largely thanks to monumental growth within the band and financial support from the community.
Despite facing off against bands twice their size during the Friday championships, KHS band members "performed extremely well" and held their own, said KHS Band Director Michael Schreiber. The Bulldogs did not place, unfortunately, but Schreiber said they made a huge impression on the audience, judges and Fiesta Bowl staff. Chino High from Chino, Calif. took home top honors.
"The 90 young men and women of the KHS Marching Band performed marvelously and did a tremendous job representing Kingman High School and Kingman," Schreiber said.
"I would like to thank all of the band parents and community members that came down to cheer us on, and again thank all the local businesses and community members that donated and supported us in our efforts to get to the Fiesta Bowl."
The list of donors is extensive, with nearly 20 local businesses pitching in on a trip tab that totaled approximately $12,000. From Panda Express and Chili's to Nucor Steel and the Sounds of Kingman, a multitude of local organizations pitched in to make the trip possible.
The community may have paid the way, but it was the band itself that earned the Fiesta Bowl invitation. Nearly a fourth of 2010's version of the band graduated. The void their departure left was, for the most part, filled by freshmen and sophomores during the 2011 season. With this change, many expected a drop off in production, but that concern couldn't be further from reality.
The band received a rating of "excellent" during the Arizona State Marching Festival, claimed fifth place at the Basha Invitational as well as second place at the Goldwater Invitational. The band has also been invited to perform at next year's Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
Despite looking back on a great season and looking forward to a bright future, the band was solely focused on Fiesta Bowl festivities over the weekend.
"For us the band, I feel this is more intense than the football games because this is what we do, you know," KHS band member Nick Eddington told ABC 15. "This is why we came here. We didn't come down here for football - this is bigger than football."