EVERETT — Christy Rice and Jaime Frank had the same goal for their performance Saturday morning: Don’t fall.
“And don’t run into the person in front of me,” Frank said.
The Stanwood High School sophomores are in marching band. Stanwood was the first up at the Puget Sound Festival of Bands, hosted by Cascade High School at Everett Memorial Stadium. The competition featured 17 schools and nearly 2,000 teens from around the state.
The girls’ call time was 6 a.m. They have been practicing “way too much” since August, Frank said, with rehearsals after class and on weekends, and at football games on Friday nights. Rice plays the trombone. For Frank, it’s the flute.
It was the third festival for their band-mate, Stanwood junior Sam Jennings, the captain of the drum line.
“Everyone’s really progressed a great deal …” he said. “We put in a whole lot of hard work. They hit all their dots. They sounded great.”
The students and their families huddled in the stands between performances, settling in for a long, cold day. Many wore blankets and carried insulated mugs.
Lori Menken brought her daughter, Jordan, a sixth-grader, and Jordan’s friend, Jazzmin Pete. They were there to support son and brother Ben, a freshman at Kamiak High School. On the way out the door, Ben’s mom had told him. “Just have fun. Do your best.”
Dorota Bochniarz knew in advance that she’d be in the stands long after nightfall. She’s had three kids in band at Kamiak, and her current lineup is Natalia on flute and Dominik on color guard.
“They do enjoy all this activity,” she said. “It’s very team building.”
Kamiak later earned the show’s Sweepstakes Award and People’s Choice Award.
New elements had been added to Cascade’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” show earlier in the morning, things like colored smoke, band director Mark Staley said.
Cascade did “the best we performed all season,” he said. “The kids work super hard.”
Among the hundreds of volunteers were Cascade graduates who had come back to help, including 19-year-old Brandon Apuan. He competed at the festival three times, playing trumpet. Now, he’s studying electrical engineering at Everett Community College.
“I just like the band,” he said. “I had a great time with it.”
Rikki King: 425-339-3449; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @rikkiking.
A class winner: West Valley High School, Spokane.
AA class winner: Black Hills High School, Tumwater.
AAA class winner: Pasco High School, Pasco.
Open class winner: Kamiak High School, Mukilteo.