MCHS Marching Band off to strong start
Panthers take first place at festival
Sam Green/Cortez Journal
Musicians have come, musicians have gone, but over the years, the Montezuma-Cortez High School marching band has remained consistently strong.
Looking to continue its long-standing tradition of excellence, the band kicked off its 2013 season in style, winning first place in the field show competition at the Colorado West Marching Festival on Saturday, Oct. 5.
“Overall, I thought we did great,” said longtime band director Rodney Ritthaler. “Where we started the year compared to where we are now, we have made leaps and bounds. We have made a lot of improvement, that’s for sure.”
This year’s show, which is titled “American Sketches,” features three pieces of music by American composers.
The first piece, “Chorale and Shaker Dance,” was composed by John Zdechlik, and catches the ear with elements of Celtic music.
The second piece, titled “Ashokan Farewell,” was written by Jay Ungar, and was originally intended to be played on fiddles.
The final piece of the show, which many may know from the movie “The Red Pony,” is titled Morning on the Ranch,” written by Aaron Copland.
“I would have to say that the mood of the show is dance,” explained Ritthaler. “You’ll see a lot of that in the show. We have body movements, and the color guard also interprets the music.”
Hoping to build on their early-season success, the M-CHS marching band will next compete at the Colorado Band Association Regionals on Thursday, Oct. 17, in Grand Junction.
“We’ll try to improve our score,” said Ritthaler. “Our goal is to keep getting better and better.”
Certainly a fine goal and if the first show of the year was any indication, the 2013 marching season promises to be a good one for the MCHS marching band.