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’Topper marching band finishes season on a strong note

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By Kirsten Laskey

There are a lot of rookies in the Los Alamos High School Marching Band, including the new band director, Zane Meek.  However, their performance at two recent competitions, the Pageant of the Bands and the Zia Competition, proved that while they maybe newcomers, they definitely have talent.   

During the Pageant of the Bands, which was held Oct. 10 at Wilson Stadium in Albuquerque, the band earned Outstanding Soloist, for Alex Austell’s performance, as well as Outstanding Brass Section. Their success continued at the Zia Competition, held Saturday at University Stadium in Albuquerque. The band received first place in the 2A division, Best Music Performance and Best General Effect.

Meek credited the band’s work ethic for its success. “Their hard work and dedication. They wanted to be good and they wanted to do well and so they put in the work that was necessary,” he said.

Ivanna Austell, head of band boosters, added the band members assisted one another.

Older students and section leaders helped out the younger members, she said.

Meek added the Pageant of Bands helped prepare the marching band for the Zia Competition by showing areas that were weak and needed improvement.   

“They were very focused,” Meek said, “the last week before competition.”

The competition was steep in both events. Meek said 23 schools attended the Pageant of Bands while 32 bands performed in the Zia Competition.

Looking back at the marching band season, which will soon wrap up with one more home football game, Meek said, “I thought it was very well.”

The most rewarding thing for him, he added, was that the students were happy with their performances.

Ivanna Austell, head of band boosters, agreed the season went well. “I just think it couldn’t have ended on a better note for this group,” she said.

The students work hard, Austell added. “It’s just an incredible achievement to the kids and to Mr. Meek.”

She is particularly proud of one of the band students – Alex, her son.

Watching him perform the award-winning solo at the Pageant of the Bands was exciting and nerve-racking, Austell said.

However, “I couldn’t be more proud of him … I’m just really proud,” she said.