By Jack King
The Clovis High School Wildcat band beat 32 other high school bands from five states to win the Zia Marching Festival in Albuquerque on Saturday night, head band director Bill Allred said.
The University of New Mexico, the festival’s sponsor, invites bands from New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Texas to attend the competition, Allred said.
The Wildcat band placed first overall and in New Mexico, he said.
It also won best music, best general effect and best visual presentation for its performance of “Locomotion,” a routine written especially for it by University of Arkansas band director Dale Warren. The routine tells the story of a train trip across the United States in four movements, with appropriate sounds and color, Allred said.
The band will reprise the show Friday, at Clovis High’s game against the Hobbs Eagles.
This is Clovis High School’s fourth regional win in the band competition, its ninth state win and its 25th year to be invited to the competition, Allred said. He said Clovis is the only high school band in New Mexico to receive 25 invitations.
He attributed the success to “relentless hard work, ambition, the willingness to take a chance on a show and brilliant student leadership.”
The Wildcats are a young band this year, Allred said, with half its membership sophomores. The band’s student leaders — its drum majors, band captains and section leaders, who are juniors and seniors — provided an extra edge in experience and leadership, he said.
“They worked together. They analyzed each section’s performance. They taught them how to march and helped improve their playing,” he said.
Scott Kendall, the band’s senior drum major, said the band worked two hours a day, Monday through Friday and occasionally on Saturdays, from July 30 this year to perfect its routine.
“It’s really not a single person effort,” he said. “It takes the entire band. If one person is missing, it affects the entire band. It’s how we work together as a team, like a huge family,” he said.