Feature: The Jenison High School Marching Band

Kyle Bohlinger, Staff Writer

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On November 9, the Jenison Marching Band wrapped up their season at the 2017 Bands of America Grand National Championships.  Preceding this was an incredible marching season filled with constant highs, driven and passionate kids, and success.

The Jenison Marching Band kicked off their season in early June, and continued with regular rehearsals every Monday and Tuesday rehearsals until August, when the infamous week of band camps began.  First came Pre-Camp: every day, 8-4 through Thursday.  Following this was Band Camp, a week of 9 hour rehearsals at Hope college, outside in the scorching sun.  The band then took a well deserved week off before wrapping up the summer at Post-Camp, which followed the same schedule as Pre-Camp.

The competition season came early this year, with the Bands of America Regional Championship falling on September 23, a week earlier than normal.  Jenison did extremely well, winning Best Music and Best General Effect and placing first in Class AA.  They took 5th overall.

Following the regional, the world decided to flood for several weeks straight.  Despite this, the band trudged on through the downpour and continued their competition success, placing first at the Grant invitational and second at the Grandville Invitational.  Following this, Jenison competed at their own annual Jenison Invitational, performing in exhibition and taking the highest score in the state up to that point.  Next, they attended Reeths-Puffer’s West Shore Invitational and took first in their flight.  Closing out their state competition season, the band moved on to state finals.

Entering the state competition, the band was ranked in a close second.  Hopes were high as Jenison went up against bands such as Portage Northern, Northview, and their biggest rival, Reeths-Puffer.  During the awards ceremony, Jenison swept the captions and placed first in the state – the first time since 2013.  Several days of celebration followed in which the band had a pep assembly and a community performance before loading the buses for the Bands of America Grand National Championships.

Jenison’s fantastic marching season came to a close at the Bands of America Grand National Championships, where they competed against the top 100 bands in the country.  Jenison was named a semifinalist where they placed fourth in their class, and took 32nd overall.  The band stayed in Indianapolis to watch the finalist bands, and then drove back to Michigan overnight, finally ending a phenomenal season for the band.

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