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Sabino High School's marching band wins Arizona State Championship

 Sabino High School's marching band wins state championships
Posted at 9:04 PM, Nov 24, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — For the first time ever, Sabino High School’s marching band won first place in their division at the Arizona State Championship. Tucson Unified School District says it’s also the first band in Southern Arizona to win this award.

“It's a really special experience to be the person in the front leading the entire group, to being the only one ever to get the honor of first place,” said A.J. Cronin, the marching band drum major.

This championship was especially important to the high school seniors.

“Just being in band in general, you create a really great family and friends that you’re going to have for life,” said Sandra Guy, color guard captain.

Most members were in band all four years, but they never made it past third place in state competitions.

“To get to that moment when we got to third place, and we didn’t hear our name called, we were like ‘Oh okay, maybe we got second,’" Cronin said. "Then they got to second place and they didn’t call our name again; that was that sudden moment of ‘Oh my gosh, we just got first place.’”

“I just kept repeating to everyone, ‘I'm so proud of you guys,’” Guy said.

Band Director Saul Garland says he didn't expect to win first this year. The goal was just to get better every week.

“There’s a certain ensemble clarity, a pureness to the sound, that emerged really early on with this group," said Saul Garland, Director of Bands at Sabino High School. "Which is pretty mature for high school students to be able to achieve it.”

He says it was a mixture of hard work and talent that brought Sabino High School to the top.

“There’s something special about this group of students," Garland said. "There’s a work ethic that you don’t find a lot of places.”