Marching band hits right note at Grand Valley High School
For years, Garfield County School District 16 Activities Director David Walck has wanted to grow the marching band program at Grand Valley High School, but it wasn’t until the district hired music instructor Kristyn Pults three summers ago that the ball really started to roll.
“Marching band was a really big thing for me growing up, and it was something that the district wanted and envisioned for,” Pults explained. “One of the places that I connected most with people in high school was in marching band.”
The work comes to fruition next month, when the GVHS band makes its public debut.
Walck said that though the district has had a lot of music instructors over the years, it was Pults who really began to strike a chord with students and parents.
When Pults started, the program had only 12 students. This year there will be almost 40.
Pults went to Grand Valley Middle School, among other schools, to get kids interested in the future of the band.
Walck said that he sees the marching band as a great way to encourage crowd participation at local events, not just football games.
“Our goal is to give kids a chance to compete,” he said.
Down the road, he envisions the marching band participating in state competitions.
“We want them at halftime shows, parades, assemblies, anything to promote team spirit,” he added. “We want the marching band to become part of the school experience and school pride. We want to get kids more involved and make it more inclusive.”
Grand Valley High School’s new marching band didn’t happen overnight, and in fact funding for the uniforms and equipment was an initial hurtle. The district lucked out, though, and was able to get a great deal buying uniforms from Montezuma Cortez High School.
“We found out they were selling and were very blessed,” Pults explained. “Eventually we plan to perform wherever we can make our community proud.”
The marching band will premiere during homecoming week starting on Monday, Sept. 18 and will look to perform at halftime for the first time on Friday, Sept. 22, in the homecoming game against Aspen.
Maybe this is a bit of a trend back to tradition. Glenwood Springs High School in 2015 fielded a marching band for the first time in many years.
“Our mission and vision is to provide as many opportunities as we can for our kids,” said Garfield 16 Superintendent Brad Ray.