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Mesa High wins San Diego band, parade contests

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  • Jeff Quamo/Mesa High School Music Department chair

Mesa High Marching Band HP

Winners again! The Mesa High School Jackrabbit Marching Band captured the field show championship at the San Diego Holiday Bowl and took first place in the Big Bay Balloon Parade competition.

Mesa High is Arizona’s two-time back-to-back Division II State Champion Marching Band.

Watch Mesa High’s award-winning “I Hope” pregame performance from the snare cam’s perspective at the Holiday Bowl.

Mesa High wins San Diego band, parade contests MesaHighMarchingBandHP

Mesa High School Jackrabbit Marching Band’s award-winning “I Hope” pregame performance was recorded from the snare camera’s perspective at the Holiday Bowl. Taylor Workman, percussion instructor, attached the video camera to the drum harness of section leader Anthony Cortez.

Mesa High Marching Band members returned from their trip to San Diego’s Holiday Bowl and Big Bay Balloon Parade with their heads held high and their hearts full of great experiences.

Mesa High makes the most of its first appearance on the national scene

The band, only 93 students strong, won the Holiday Bowl’s field show championship, earning them the opportunity to perform not only during the halftime show but also during the pregame celebration.

Students were awestruck by the bowl-game festivities, which included a full fireworks show, U.S. Navy paragliders who landed on the 50-yard line, and a full crowd at Qualcomm Stadium, where more than 60,000 people gathered to see Arizona State University vs. Texas Tech.

The Mesa High Marching Band also won its division championship in the Big Bay Balloon Parade broadcast by the USA television network. Students from all 16 bands in the parade performed in the Holiday Bowl’s half-time show.

One of the competing bands represented Buhler High School — the 2013 Kansas State Champion Band. The Buhler entry comprised more than 140 students in its marching band field show. This was Mesa High’s first opportunity to compete against top state bands from throughout the country.

Directors Robert Brooks, Jeff Quamo credit the entire team for Mesa High’s success

The band is directed by Robert Brooks and Jeff Quamo. “We haven’t been successful just because of some set of lucky circumstances,” Brooks said. “Truth is, we’ve been successful because we are never satisfied with our past performances, and we’re not afraid to create our own opportunities.

“And when I say ‘we,’ I’m talking about our entire team of students, show writers, all of our parent boosters, directors, the Mesa High principal and the unpaid volunteer instructors who add so much to our show,” Brooks said.

Additional marching band staff staff members include Ashley Clawson, Erica Shultz, Chad Henderson, Christopher Coughlin, Jesse Bradbury and Taylor Workman. Band Booster Club members and chaperones include Lisa Clawson, Jana Shelley, Don Shelley, Wendi Heslop, Merrill Heslop, Leo Lopez, Shannon Lopez, Tami Pace, James Pace, Barbara Ellsworth, Manny Cortez and Barb Cortez.

Mesa High is Arizona’s two-time back-to-back Division II State Champion Marching Band.