RYE, Colo. – District 70’s Rye High School (RHS) is marching to the beat of their own drum in rebuilding the long-lost marching band.
RHS Music Director, Ian Watson, is determined to build the program from scratch and have an official field marching band.
“It’s one of my passions. I absolutely love marching band. I did marching band as a student at St Creek High School and Sierra High School did Blue Knights,” said Watson. ”And the kids here are athletic and they’re musical and it’s a perfect fit for them.”
The band has 22 students and an additional three students interested in color guard.
“It’s always a big reward to my day, it’s what I always look forward to,” said Aaron Cox, Freshman at RHS.
Students practice hit songs to school chants in the music room.
“The kids saw Top Gun, and so they really wanted to play Danger Zone,” said Watson. “We like to play little shorties that everyone can recognize, but our repertoire is really how much we can play and how much we can do with good quality.”
Students range in grades from freshman to senior year.
“Since band has all grades it’s not just like junior, seniors, like in other classes,” said Morgan Hines, Senior at RHS. “So I get a variety of freshmen all the way to seniors, and I’ve made quite a few friends during it.”
One band member shares that she is following in her sibling’s footsteps.
“I’ve been playing piano since I was five, so I’ve done music, like, my whole life,” said Mylee Garner, Sophomore at RHS. “And my siblings also did band starting in middle school going all through high school, so I just wanted to do it, too.”
In the music room, band members can see what the future marching band uniform will look like. Watson also shares how they are motivating students throughout high school to join.
“We encourage everyone to join. We even started a color guard during homeroom to encourage students who may not know how to play instruments, but would like to do dancing and moving flags around,” said Watson. “So that’s another element that we’re bringing back to the school as well to help out with the marching band.”
Students in the band are excited about an official field marching band.
“I remember it was always something I really wanted to do in middle school, and unfortunately we didn’t have the resources for that,” said Cole Brooks, Sophomore at RHS. “Mr. Watson, he’s a wonderful band director and he’s really getting things started for us.”