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The City Journals

Bingham High marching band repeat state champions

Dec 31, 2017 03:22PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]


It’s back-to-back state marching band titles for Bingham High, after a competitive season that placed it as the favorites at the state competition.

“We were very strong visually; our percussion is very strong, and we were competitive musically, but the competition was tight; it was a mathematical equation who came out on top,” said Bingham High Director of Bands and Percussion Darin Graber. “Once the drum major released the band from being at attention (when it was announced Bingham won), the kids were very excited. You never know how it will turn out, but luckily, we were on top.”

The season began with weeks of practice in the summer, learning their show, titled, “10-98 Prison Break,” which featured three movements — Riot, Solitary and Escape.

“There were spotlights, the jail bars that moved across the field, and we had one girl escape during the break out,” Graber said. “It was a very moving, visual show.”

So much that the band usually received high marks in visual, one of the judging components, at most competitions, including at the Davis Cup, where Bingham took first overall as well as first in percussion and music; and at the Wasatch Invitational, where it won percussion again and finished second overall. Bingham also placed second overall at the Mt. Timpanogos Invitational and took best in music and percussion components.

During the season, Bingham traveled to Mission Viejo, California, where it placed second at the Western Band Association’s competition, competing against schools that had 160 marching band members, compared to its band, about 40 students smaller.

In addition to performing at football halftime shows, Bingham’s band also took part in the annual preview performances — one at Weber State University as well as the Salt Lake Valley Preview.

After returning from the Red Rocks state championship, the band was greeted in South Jordan with a police escort, treated to ice cream by Principal Chris Richards-Khong and were the first group to light the B, Graber said.

The celebration was short-lived, as currently, the color guard and drum line are practicing for winter competitions.

“We’ll be getting a banner to hang and planning our conceptual meeting to discuss next season’s shows,” Graber said.