For the 6th time in the last seven years, the Desert Vista Thunder Marching Band has reached the pinnacle of the sport. Capping off a night of tremendous performances featuring bands from across the state, Desert Vista brought the crowd to their feet with an inspired rendition of their 2016 show, “ANThology”.
The judges rewarded the Thunder with an impressive score of 94.875, along with top scores in four of the five caption categories (Percussion, General Effect, Visual Effect and Musical Performance). Runners up Mountain Ridge finished with a score of 90.731 and Highland rounded out the top three with an 88.406.
Inviting the audience to join the microscopic realm of the Ant colony, the 152-member Thunder band brought to life a world of colossal inspiration and collaboration. Featuring music from Bill Conti and Raymond Scott, the show was the bold vision of Director of Bands Joshua Thye and his award-winning staff.
When asked about the reaction to hearing the theme of the show for the first time, Senior Drum Major Zoë Clevinger admitted, “We were all a little hesitant when we learned the show was about ants but [as Drum Major] I get to see the show from a really cool perspective and I loved seeing the show and the characters within it come alive.”
The countless hours of practice and repetition were evident as the performance truly did come alive on Saturday night.
“The band had every right to question the show concept - what are we up to? Ants?' But this group never did. They earned it. They have so much to be proud of,” Thye said. “People come up to me and this show, it means something to them. I think we can all associate with being an outsider, not being included at some point and how it feels when you are finally accepted. I think we all need that kind of understanding, now more than ever.”
For the seniors, exiting the field for the final time, emotions ran deep. “Competing was such a phenomenal experience,” shared Taylor Rogers, 2016 Band Council President. “Being able to march this amazing show alongside the best people I know was the most fulfilling end to my four years that anyone could hope for. Every single person in the band worked so hard this season and crossing the sideline for the last time with them is something I will not soon forget.”
Drum Line Section Leader Johnathan Lee added, “It was an amazing feeling to see the end result of our hard work this year. But I've heard someone say that if they read you off in first place with a score of 100,000, yet you do not love the person marching next to you, you have missed the entire point of this activity. The victory, for me at least, was crossing the finishing line as a family.”
Reflecting on his students and the year, Mr. Thye said, “My heart is so full. There are so many things they have taught me and those are things I will remember a long time. This is because of them and for them. You have to believe in a why and THEY are the why.”