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Gila Ridge band participates in AzMBA state competition

The Gila Ridge High School marching band recently successfully placed in two regional competitions, which qualified them for the state finals on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix.  

Gila Ridge earned the trip to state after taking part in the ABODA (Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association) and AzMBA (Arizona Marching Band Association) competitions in October.

“We qualified to go to state for both divisions and decided not to go to ABODA so we could focus on making what’s known as ‘super state’ for AzMBA,” GRHS Band Director Caitlyn Mahoney said.

The AzMBA finals includes a so-called Grand Championship on Sunday for the top six finishers. However, Gila Ridge placed 15th with an overall score of 64.750. Just 0.08 points separated the Hawks from 12th place Buckeye Union High School. Arcadia High School won the Saturday and Sunday event.

Overall, the Gila Ridge band performs at a wide variety of events and competitions throughout the school year, including the Dorothy Young Light Parade each December and varsity football games among others.

The Gila Ridge football program, coached by John Ellegood, advanced to the second round of the conference playoffs by defeating Coconino High School, 10-9, on Friday. It was the first playoff victory in Gila Ridge history.

Both the football team and marching band were sent off in style on Friday with a Spirit March through the campus with both the band and football team participating.

James Kuzniak