Unlike either Maryland or Illinois, Colorado is one of several states that sanctions a statewide tournament to name a champion marching band in each of several enrollment classes. The bands qualify for the state tournament at qualifying festivals, which resemble those at several Illinois high schools, and the quarterfinals start this week.
The qualifying performance for Arapahoe High School in Centennial, for example, came at the 5A Metro Regional competition at Littleton High School. Director Shawn Funk, along with drum major Emily Burns, led the “Pride of Arapahoe” Marching Band onto the field to capture a score of 70.05 (out of 100), wrote Ashley Mowle, a reporter for Arapahoe Xtra, the student newspaper at the high school.
The band took fourth place in 5A at Metro on Tuesday, October 17, and then hosted an invitational festival (not a qualifying tournament) on its home field Saturday. The “Pride of Arapahoe” performed in exhibition at 9 PM.
Their show is entitled “Leanan Sídhe: The Celtic Muse” and features music composed and arranged by Ian Grom and John Mapes.
The “Leanan Sidhe” are beautiful seductresses from the Land of Fey, Ireland’s fairies. As muses, they offer inspiration to artists in exchange for their love and devotion; the inspiration often leads to the artist going mad. The leanan sídhe are fairies, but they take human lovers, according to Gaelic folklore. After going mad, those humans are said to live short but highly inspired lives.
Remaining championship schedule
There were five regional qualifying festivals throughout the state, which took place on Monday through Thursday, October 16–19.
Champions will be named this weekend, with semifinals and finals taking place for Class 4A/5A at Falcon Stadium at the US Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs Saturday and for Classes 1A, 2A, and 3A at Echo Park Automotive Stadium in Parker on Monday, October 30.