This past weekend the Jenison High Marching Band marched into history when they seized the State Championship Title for the second time in as many years.
Performing the acclaimed, “Joan: Visionary, Warrior, Martyr, Saint,” based on the life of Joan of Arc, Jenison Band members out-scored the competition in all four areas of adjudication: Best Music, Best Visual Performance, and Best General Effect.
The show includes music from “King Arthur” and “The Prince of Egypt” by Hans Zimmer, “The Messenger” by Eric Serra, “The Kings Go Forth” by Edward Gregson, “March to the Scaffold” from Berlioz’s “Symphonie Fantastique,” and Ravel’s “Pavane for a Dead Princess,” explained JHS Band teacher Dave Zamborsky.
Mr. Zamborsky and Mr. York will take their band to the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, IN today, where they will prepare to perform in the preliminary competition on Friday afternoon. If their performance qualifies them to move on to the Semifinals, they will play again on Saturday. The Semifinals pits the top 30 bands in the nation against each other for the coveted National Title.
Mr. Mike York shared his thoughts about some of his favorite memories from this fall.
“There are so many highlights throughout the season that it’s hard to pick just one, but I think that when I look back on this show, the first thing that will pop in to my mind is the dramatic performance by Sara Gehan as “Joan” during the burning at the stake scene. If there were Oscar Awards to hand out at marching band competitions, she would, hands down, be taking ALL of those home. This moment in the show has really become “the talk of the town” in the Michigan marching band world!”
Mr. Zamborsky explained why this year’s production is different:
“I think the show this year is very unique and special. It’s definitely the most emotionally appealing show we’ve done here at Jenison, and the response has been very positive. That emotional component has given us the opportunity to really emphasize to the students that a significant part of their role as great performers is creating a connection with their audience – making the audience feel completely engaged in their performance.
… Our students have a lot to be proud of – and we hope that the marching band program is a consistent source of pride for our school district and community members. But each season, we strive to raise our standards little by little, and it’s really great to see the kids work so hard to meet and even exceed those standards – and to set new standards for themselves personally and as a band.”
“One of the things that we emphasize with the band throughout the season is to be positive and healthy competitors. Our goal, first and foremost, is to push our practice and performance intensity to the threshold of our abilities – that’s how we judge our success. The awards and recognition are certainly nice, but reaching our full potential as performers is the only thing that we have total control over. When we walk away from a performance saying that we gave absolutely everything we could, then and only then can we say we’ve been successful,” said Mr. York.
Congratulations to Mr. York, Mr. Zamborsky, and all the students and parents who give so much to make the Jenison Band program successful! We wish them the best of luck at Nationals and assure them that in our hearts, they’re already winners!
For a complete list of Flight II scores, click HERE.