Ranger band takes first at State Championships in addition to other awards
Posted: Dec. 8, 2015
As Rincon/University High School band director Jeff Marchant spoke on his band's historic season, he kept his back confidently to the field. He didn't break his concentration once to peek at the ongoing practice behind him while he discussed his student leadership, which is comprised of over 40 positions for his 220-member band.
"They're kind of amazing, every year they raise the level of what they can do without supervision," Marchant remarked. "I can... just watch and everything will get set up and the rehearsal will start on time, whether I start it or not."
Marchant and the Ranger Band are enjoying an unprecedented level of success this season, which has built slowly since Marchant came over from Sabino High School six years ago. The band has placed no lower than 6th in any competition this year, including 2nd at the ABODA State Championships, 1st at the AzMBA State Championships, 1st at the ABODA State Marching Festival and multiple Superior with Distinction awards. Marchant himself took home the Nunamaker Distinguished Director Award at the University of Arizona Band Day in October.
Those in the student leadership roles on the band speak about style and a sense of environment when discussing why their band has risen to such levels.
"We took what we... liked from upperclassmen and applied that to our style," explained senior drum major Luna Ruiz. "Every section agreed they would do what was necessary to achieve what we wanted."
"We work on positivity rather than negativity," added fellow senior drum major Abbie James. "The way that we really fix mistakes is to show the right way to do something rather than the wrong way to do something."
The leadership members of the band went on to remark that if anyone, the upperclassmen are more likely to receive a harsh word since they should be the examples for the underclassman.
"We're really teaching them how to be people and good citizens and represent the band in a great way," explained trumpet section leader Philip Grimes.
Color guard section leader Janae Johns agrees. "It's awesome watching everyone grow as performers and growing in maturity as people as they enter this band."
All of the students agreed their style and environment that has furnished their success was derived from a culture put in place not only by Mr. Marchant, but also by their supporters and the community as well. Mr. Marchant confirmed that sentiment.
"We have amazing support here from both campuses... we've gotten really good support from transportation and Dr. Sanchez's office and I think I might have one of the best band parent organizations around," Mr. Marchant stated gratefully.
See this list of the RUHS Band achievements (in PDF) to learn of the band's recognitions for the fall season. For more information, you can also check out their website at: www.rangerband.org