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Marching through the heat: Local marching band creates music and community

Rincon University High School Marching Band
Posted at 10:13 PM, Aug 05, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — After Rincon and University High School's final bell rings, about 150 students head to the gym and football field. For two days a week, the marching band musicians practice for hours. One of the leaders, or drum majors, is senior Miranda Moore.

"Part of my job is conducting," she said. "But the biggest part of my job is making sure everyone is set, everyone is ready and everyone is okay."

In addition to conducting, she plays two instruments. Her and the other marching band members play in competition and football games. But it takes more than just musical talent. Jeff Marchant, the band director, said the students warm up, work out and practice dance before picking up their instruments.

"There's a lot of physical movement and dance movement that happens while they're playing," Marchant said.

But during the extreme heat or monsoon storms, the group has to adapt.

"Basically, we found ways to be inside during the afternoon and outdoors during the evening when it starts to cool down," Marchant said. "We rehearse after school from 8:30 sometimes 9 p.m."

Moore said they work on nutrition and drinking enough water throughout the day to get ready for practice. This marching band competes in about six or seven competitions a year, in addition to the football games.

"Another part of it is to learn how to push through discomfort," Moore said. "We just have to remind each other that it's going to be worth it in the end."

For Moore, this is something that she'll continue to do after she graduates from high school.

"It's so powerful to be able to work on something with people for so long and be able to perform it together," she said. "I'm just really happy and grateful for the community I have in band."

Tina Giuliano is a reporter for KGUN 9. She is a native Arizonan and grew up in Scottsdale. Tina is passionate about storytelling and is excited to work telling Tucson's stories. Share your story ideas and important issues with Tina by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.