Williams Field High Marching Band

The Williams Field High Marching Band took top honors in its division in the state championship last weekend.

The Williams Field High School Marching Band went head-to-head with seven other bands at the Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association Marching State Championship last weekend and came out on top as Division II champions, sweeping all the caption awards in music performance, visual performance, general effect, color guard, and percussion performance.

 “The dedication from these kids was unbelievable from the beginning,” said band Director Robert Edgar. “They worked hard right out of the gate in July to get as much of the show on the field as quickly as possible and then remained focused on cleaning details. The staff and I are so proud of their tremendous growth.”

The Williams Field Black Hawk Regiment comprises 70 members. “The band has consistently led from the front all season, taking 1st place in four other regional competitions and then competing in semi-finals, where they also took first,” said Travis Smith, president of the Black Hawk Band Boosters.

“Since June, the students dedicated over 250 hours of practice time to prepare for their championship performance, including eight-hour rehearsals, Tuesday and Thursday night practices and many weekends,” he added.

The Black Hawks’ show, titled “Spotlight,” shared the story of the pressures of being in the spotlight and how it can change you. Musical titles included “Blinding Lights” from The Weeknd and “Shallow” from Lady Gaga.

The title aptly reflected the band’s challenges.

 “This year has been one filled with many late nights, early mornings, blood, sweat, and tears,” said senior drum major Kellianne Kuc. “Going to every show and seeing how much we improved was an amazing feeling.”

Waiting for the judges’ decision was almost as excruciating.

“Standing on the field in front of all those people and waiting for the score of our band along with the name of our school was so nerve-racking,” Kellianne said. 

“However, when the announcer called Williams Field High School last, I was overwhelmed with emotions. It was my senior year, my first year as drum major, and we had just won a state title! The first thing I wanted to do was run to my band, my second family essentially, and tell them how much I love them and how proud of them I am.”

 “At the end of the day, it’s not about getting first place,” she added. “It’s about feeling proud of the progress you have made throughout the season. Congratulations to all the bands across the board. Thank you for an amazing experience that has helped shape me into the person I am today.”

The Williams Field and Higley High bands have been invited to represent Arizona in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on May 30. 

Additionally, the Symphonic Band will participate in the National Memorial Day Concert Series at a memorial on the D.C National Mall.

 Students will have the opportunity to tour the city, lay wreaths are Arlington National Cemetery, and attend a clinic with one of the premier D.C. Military music programs. The cost of the trip is $1,800 per student. 

The Band Boosters have established the Band Angel program for donors and sponsors to help students pay for the trip. Donations can be made at blackhawkregiment.org/band-angel-program.

 The Black Hawk Band Boosters is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, so making all donations tax-deductible.

The Williams Field Band program has won many awards, including the 2010 and 2013 Division III ABODA State Marching Band Championships; and the 2016 and 2021 Division II ABODA State Marching Band Championship.

 The Symphonic Band and Jazz Band have both received Superior Ratings at State Festival. The Black Hawk Winter Guard won the 2008 and 2012 WGAZ Regional A State Championships, the 2014 and 2018 Scholastic AA Winter Guard State Championships, and the WGAZ Scholastic Open Class 2018 Silver Medalist in both Drumline and Winter Guard.

The Black Hawk Band Boosters is a nonprofit dedicated to providing the students of Williams Field High School, Cooley Middle School and the elementary schools that feed into them the opportunity for music education and visual art experiences that meet the highest standards of education and performance. 

They achieve this mission through financial support, volunteering personal time, and collaborating with directors and instructional staff. 

They advocate for music in their schools and community, promote fellowship and goodwill within all areas of the school and encourage our students to be ambassadors in their community. 

“They desire to enrich the band program where students can pursue their passions for music and visual arts and be recognized as a top program in the community,” Smith said.