Thunder Marching Band wins state crown


The Desert Vista High School Marching Band did it again.

For the seventh time in the last eight years, the band took the state title in the Arizona Marching Band Association’s 4A championship competition.

“In any competitive activity, success is never assured. It has to be earned,” said band director and teacher Joshua Thye. “Earned through hundreds of hours of hard work and perseverance. Earned through unwavering commitment to a common goal, dedication and faithfulness to the process of challenging yourself every day to be better than the day before.”

Under the leadership of Drum Majors Emma Belnap and Annie Whitney, Desert Vista dazzled a full house with their 2017 production “From Time to Time.”

It captivated the crowd with a musical journey through the history of recorded sound featuring music from Billie Holiday, Cyndi Lauper, The Rolling Stones and Daft Punk. 

Embracing the digital revolution to the delight of younger audience members, the show concluded with a performance from rappers and marching band members Wesley Bell and Beatboxer Noah Kim.

Thye said he and his staff, said this year started with more questions than answers:  “Would introducing revolutionary new sounds strike the right cords with the judges? Would a band with nearly 40 percent new members develop and unite in time for the championship run? Would they ever get all 40 stages on and off the field in time?”

“It was not easy, but I’m so proud of this band,” he said. “I am so thankful for the togetherness and faithfulness of these kids, my staff and of all the parents, families and volunteers that support this band. None of this is possible without them.

“This Senior Class, the Class of 2018, was a remarkable class. Their leadership and faithfulness were at the core of our success.  I am so proud to have known them.”

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