Marching a Successful Season


Photo by Samantha Horvath

Drum Major, Avery Gautieri (12) leading the band at the MSU band competition

Samantha Horvath

The Fair Grove High School Marching Band has ended their 2019-2020 season with multiple victories, including placing finals at two of their four competitions.

Over the past few years the Fair Grove Band has decreased in member size. With once being categorized as a Class C band, they are now a Class A. However, size hasn’t affected their playing and marching abilities as a whole. This is shown with how they scored at each competition. 

This marching season, the band has placed top three at all four of their competitions. The first competition was the Carl Junction Marching Festival in which they placed third for preliminary performance. Their second and most improved was the Ozarko Marching Festival where they scored second, excelled to finals, and was awarded eighth. The following weekend after their MSU competition the band competed at the Ozark Mountain Marching Festival.

After a cold and early morning the band competed and was granted first place, as well as awards in the categories best music, guard, and soloist. The band was then to perform at finals where they placed sixth in their division. The marching season came to a wrap at the Maple Leaf Marching Festival where the band was awarded second place including caption awards in best percussion and best guard.

None of this success could be possible without high expectations bestowed from the section leaders and the band director, Natalie Palomo herself. Palomo commented, “A band member is expected to maintain their playing abilities on their instruments, as well as mastering the technique we use in marching.”

Easton Beltz (10) is a high brass section leader who also has set expectations for not only his group, but also himself. He says, “My expectation is for me to make my section and myself better and eventually the band as a whole.” 

With the season at a wrap and concert season approaching, Palomo is already setting plans for the next marching season. Expressing, “Next season I mostly plan on maintaining a lot of practices we instilled this year-which was a huge focus on fundamentals of marching outside the context of show, as well as little technique things musically.”