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Cibola High School student performs with FFA National Band

Marcos AmayaCibola High School junior Marcos Amaya performed as a member of the Future Farmers of America (FFA) national band last month in the 95th National FFA Convention in Indianapolis.


Amaya, who plays the flute, was selected out of 256 auditions to be a member of the National FFA Band, a tradition which has gone on for more than seven decades. The group performed six pieces across the four-day event.


“I had the amazing opportunity to be a part of the 95th National FFA Convention & Expo while representing the State of Arizona as a member of the 75th National FFA Band,” Amaya said. “During the application and audition process, I thought to myself how cool it would be to be in a band while being able to wear the blue jacket in one of the largest student-led organizations in the United States. However, I did not get my hopes up because I knew it is not easy to become part of such a high level of musicians from all across the U.S, especially since I did not have nearly as many years of experience as many of the members.”


As it turns out, with the encouragement of fellow Arizona FFA members and state leaders, Amaya, who had drawn praise after performing in the State FFA Camp Talent show in July, was selected and made the trek to Indiana. From there, it was a whirlwind.


“When I arrived in Indiana, I was overwhelmed with emotions as I realized that I would soon be performing in front of 28,000 members, advisors, and staff of the National FFA Organization,” Amaya said. “We first met with the entire band on Saturday night in the Indianapolis Convention Center Conference Rooms for our first rehearsal of the week. Walking into the rehearsal felt very overwhelming to be in a room full of extremely talented FFA members from all over the country. We received our first six pieces of concert music and then we just began, no skim through or practice, and we kept playing until everyone was just lost. We spent about 3 hours the first night just dissecting the concert pieces until we worked through one entire piece. For the rest of the week, the rehearsals maintained a length of about 3 hours with 2-3 rehearsals per day of just constant playing and repetition until we got it right. The number of friendships and bonds I had the opportunity to develop throughout the week is second to none.”


In addition to Amaya, Cibola alum, Tyler Martinez (Class of 2021) attended the Convention as a National Officer candidate. Eleven students from Cibola, Gila Ridge High School, and Yuma High School attended the event. Overall, more than 28,000 FFA students from across the nation were in Indianapolis.  

Eric Patten