FFCHS Band experiences exponential growth, success
Last updated 10/27/2021 at 9:18am
By Christy McGee, APR, FFC8 Director of Communication
Going from 23rd to 12th in state rankings in a year is a testament to the effort, dedication, and passion for music that Fountain-Fort Carson High School Band Director Josh Race has, along with the over 120 members of the 2021 Trojan Marching Band.
"When I first joined this band four years ago, I never thought we'd be where we are now," said Kristiana Johns, a senior who is in her second year as drum major and fourth year in marching. "When I was a freshman, we only had 62 members and now we have over 120. To be able to see this band grow over the past four years has been a huge honor."
In sync with the marching band growth, Race and FFCHS added a Beginning Concert Band class for the 2021-2022 year, giving students access to band who previously might not have been able to participate in middle school or high school. With that addition, FFCHS now sports four concert bands. Overall, the band academic program has grown from approximately 120 students in 2018-2019 to over 200 registered in classes this school year.
"It's wonderful that the marching band has doubled in size since 2018," Race said. "Ninety of those students are new to competitive marching, but they are impressive in competition. Many FFCHS band students move from other military schools that may not have a marching band, so we see students at all grade levels joining band and playing an instrument for the first time in their lives. They are committed and willing to try and learn new things, which just makes for a unique and fun dynamic on our team."
"This year's progress was amazing from the beginning," Johns agreed. "We were able to finish learning a whole movement in only six hours, which is record-breaking for our band. I'm so proud of everyone in the band and the hard work they put in every single day."
The Trojan Marching Band has done well at various competitions throughout the 2021 season. They placed first in Class 5A at the Colorado State Fair Parade, along with recognition for Outstanding Drum Majors in Class 5A and 3rd place in Overall Sweepstakes. They placed first at the Friendship Cup, hosted at FFCHS in September, second at the Douglas County Marching Invitationals in October, and first at the Harrison Marching Invitational in October.
On Wednesday, Oct. 20, the Trojan Marching Band earned first place in class 5A at the Colorado Bandmaster's Association (CBA) Southern Regional Competition. This competition is the state qualifier for the top 20 bands in the region. The Trojan Band will compete next on Friday, Oct. 29 in the CBA Quarterfinals at the Air Force Academy.
Students will tell you that joining band is about more than the music.
"We've grown closer and become more of a family," Johns said. "Being a senior this year is so hard, because I know our band is just going to get better and better and I wish I could be part of it longer. It has truly been the best part of my high school career."