The State if New Mexico is one of our nations largest, but also one of our most sparsely populated states. For many years Bands in New Mexico had only two events in the State to compete at.
1. Zia Marching Festival, at the University of NM
2. New Mexico Tournament of Bands, at NMSU
In recent years, Bands in the Albuquerque area now have the Pageant of Bands to compete in, but what is available for the Rural Schools.
On Wednesday the 2nd of Oct, the Southwestern Region of the New Mexico Music Educators Association sponsored their 3rd Annual Marching Festival for Region Bands. Nine school Bands traveled to Deming, NM for this contest. The closest schools from Las Cruces traveled 60 miles one way on a school night. The farthest Band came from Morenci, AZ, a 128 mile one way trip.
This contest and similar ones in the Southeast Region at Artesia, NM
on Oct 12th and the Northwest Region on Oct 16th bring together Bands from the far distant areas of NM.
It is very difficult to fund travel for many rural school bands to attend several competitions. With many rural schools in TX having the same distance problems as the schools in NM, the Directors of NMMEA Bands in these regions should be applauded for getting more Bands involved in the Marching Contest Arena.
While many people in the more suburban areas prefer scores, most Bands in Rural areas prefer Band Ratings. The Rating system allows them to learn to play to a standard. Once a Band understands what a 1st Division Standard is, it then can compete in events with scoring being the standards. Unfortunately their are still regions in NM that do not have this Marching Event. Hopefully this growth in Band events will lead other Regions to follow.
Oh: Here are the Ratings for this event
Morenci, AZ II
Silver, Silver City II
Las Cruces I
Topics and polls that cover the overall marching band activity
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