The Student News Site of Horizon High School

The Profile

The Student News Site of Horizon High School

The Profile

The Student News Site of Horizon High School

The Profile


What's the best part of Springtime?

  • Flowers blooming (29%, 10 Votes)
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Total Voters: 35

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Band Showcase Takes Flight

Marching Hawks at the Horizon Airlines showcase, photographed by me
Marching Hawks at the Horizon Airlines showcase, photographed by me


On September 16, Horizon Airlines took to the runway and lifted off in a transcendent performance. The Marching Band Showcase and preceding tailgate, which occurred this past Saturday afternoon, allowed Marching Hawks’ friends, families, and fellow supporters to congregate and enjoy an In-N-Out cookout before watching the band perform a section with an innovative airline theme.

This event was offered last year, according to the band, and found success with putting the hard work of the Marching Hawks on display for parents and friends. So the decision was made to run it again a week before the band competition at Legacy High School, with catering from In-N-Out to offer an extra incentive for spectators. Thankfully, the event found success once again this year.

Spectators such as myself arrived around 2 p.m. sporting visors, sunglasses, lawn chairs, and a few umbrellas, and after a $5 entry fee, exchanged meal tickets for burgers, chips, and drinks from an In-N-Out food truck. The band students had given out tickets to their friends and family, and as suggested by the number of people in the food line when the time came, these tickets did not go to waste and were appreciated by the crowd. I know I appreciated it, as I hadn’t had an In-N-Out burger in a long time.

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At about 3:45 spectators made their way to the stands for the showcase itself to begin, and half an hour later the band made their way onto the field, with the three drum majors standing atop ladders to assist with conducting, the front ensemble sporting neon green vests akin to airport ground personnel, and the colorguard donned with flight attendant uniforms. The field itself was set up with posters of DIA and airplanes, a mock airplane-seating area, suitcases, a small set of airline seats, and a fasten your seatbelt sign over the front ensemble’s section leader. A later conversation with Band Director Tim Dailey revealed that the band met as a team and planned out a simple, relatable, and fun theme of an aircraft taking flight for their performance that they filled in with set pieces and additional elements all on their own.

The performance lasted about eight minutes as the band played pieces from their upcoming performance, weaving back and forth in a neatly practiced routine. Movement 2 of the routine was Halcyon Hearts by Katajh Copley, while movements 1 and 3 were original compositions by Shilo Stroman and Neal Titus. The pieces were interjected with commentary mimicking an airplane announcer and sound effects of the plane taking off, highlighting the “Horizon Airlines” theme. Their daily practice that had persisted for weeks was evident through their expert movements around the field, and it’s safe to say that the crowd was impressed by the massive amounts of cheering after the performance concluded.

Dailey addressed the crowd before and after the performance, thanking them for attending and explaining how these showcases are intended for the band to get out in front of an audience that supports them in practice. After taking first place at the Arvada Harvest Fest the previous week, Dailey explained, the band intended to continue striving for excellence in their performances, giving them confidence to perform at the showcase to prepare for the competition at Legacy High School. While speaking to him individually after the performance, Dailey expressed how the showcases also offered audiences a look at what the marching band has been working on so they can follow the continuation of the marching band’s growth.

Tuba player Aaron Ortega and clarinet player Elizabeth O’Rourke both feel that the showcase is unique from other Band events. O’Rourke claimed the event was for parents and friends to come to see the band’s work, asserting how it was a way for the band and the audience to see how drastically they had improved. She explained how in the short eight-minute performance they performed more than half of the show they’d be playing at the Legacy competition, which both gave the band practice with their pieces and the parents a scope of what the band would be doing. Ortega, however, claimed the showcase was more for the band itself to gain support, speaking of how useful the events were for freshmen or new band members to gain experience performing in front of a crowd. In this case, the crowd being made up entirely of people who care and are there just to see them would be encouraging for the newcomers. 

Both musicians as well as Mr. Dailey proclaimed that they would want to host another showcase in the future, attributing the showcases as the best way for the bands’ supporters to see the band in action and a great way for the band to practice for the show. The showcase fosters community and shows off the innovation and excellence of the band, and more are most likely planned for the upcoming years, especially after this showcase really took off.

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About the Contributor
Grace Hilliard
Grace Hilliard, Assistant copy editor and Marketing and Social Media Director
This is Grace’s first year in journalism- and only year, as they graduate in May! Grace loves writing, art, and storytelling, and she hopes to get some a career in some kind of storytelling field (the dream would be a graphic novelist!). Beyond journalism, they do Battle of the Books and Theater, where they delight in being able to connect with others and discuss, tell, and act stories. In her free time she enjoys drawing, reading, listening to music, playing Minecraft, and watching animated shows.

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