The Desert Vista Marching Band seniors pose with their four consecutive state championship awards on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013.

David Jolkovski/AFN

For the fourth consecutive year, the Desert Vista Marching Band has been crowned state champions by winning the Arizona State Marching Band competition.

The Thunder marching band was able to take home the title by putting on its best performance of the year performing, “Outside the Box,” an abstract idea of breaking out of the normality of marching.

Desert Vista Marching Band met some stiff competition at Glendale Community College last weekend, but was able to impress the judges to remain on the throne of victory receiving an overall score of 86.83.

“The most important thing for us is that it really wasn’t about winning, it was really about being the best that we can be,” said Jordan Young, senior color guard. “It’s more of we want to be the best at what we do.”

Andy Chen, senior drum major, had a feeling of content after winning the fourth State Championship and knowing that the team had done its best. Band director Josh Thye believed whether crowned state champions or not, his students left it all out on the field.

Thye said preparations for putting on the performance began as early as the beginning of the year, where he and his team begin building a concept for the performance.

He believes one of the biggest obstacles his team and students have to achieve through the year is meet a certain expectation of excellence, which is clearly being met.

“Each year we strive to raise our own standards. This is a difficult task. I try to encourage the students to stay humble and work hard, each and every day. One thing I know for sure is that those two qualities can result in positive outcomes. We were so honored to be a part of the Top 10 Division 1 bands at Arizona Marching Championships,” Thye said. “On any given weekend, any of those bands could have taken the top score. We are fortunate and appreciative that it happened to be us.”

The marching band was able to hone its skills and get the performance numbers down by having regular performances during halftime of the football games, hosting community performances at Thunder Stadium for Ahwatukee residents and clocking in 250 rehearsing hours since June.

Other than keeping a winning tradition within the program, each band member is taught humbling characteristics which are shown whether they win or lose.

As the marching band was named state champions, instead of obnoxiously celebrating over the stage, each band member was told to simply clap as to not take away from any other band squad and show a sign of respect towards their performances.

Thye feels the celebration of winning should be kept in a private setting within the confines of the group, which they celebrated back on the bus.

“I am just so proud of these hard-working students and their wonderfully supportive families. Only they know the sacrifice and work that went into that exceptional performance. I would also like to thank my assistant directors: Aaron Morales and Michael Krill and the outstanding staff that freely gives of their time for this program,” Thye said. “Lastly, a program like this does not exist without a supportive site and district administration. We are so grateful for the continual support of Dr. Anna Battle, Dr. Kenneth Baca and their teams of administration and faculty.”

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.