Phs Band Qualifies For State Competition

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Their new uniforms must have ushered in fresh confidence.

At a competition Saturday, Payson High School’s band qualified to attend next month’s state competition for the first time in six years.

They not only qualified for state, but the band earned a “Superior” rating on Saturday — the highest label possible — along with four so-called caption awards. The top two bands in each division receive caption awards in different categories.

“This is an unprecedented Payson High School music accomplishment,” said band teacher Daria Mason. “It is something they will never forget their whole lives.

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Dennis Fendler/Roundup

Brett Royer performed at the PHS vs. Alchesay football game Friday night. The students donned the brand-new uniforms they purchased with money they raised after four years of fund-raising.

The kids wore their brand-new uniforms, earned after four years of fund-raising, the first time during Friday’s football game. The hats, on back order, arrived at 2 p.m. Friday.

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Dennis Fendler/Roundup

Payson High School band members (left to right) Emily Zenko, Kimberly Donaldson, Johnathan Rockwell, Lena Bishop perform at the PHS vs. Alchesay football game Friday night. The students donned the brand-new uniforms they purchased with money they raised after four years of fund-raising.

On Saturday, amped up with their new uniforms, the kids earned caption awards for color guard, outstanding visual performance, outstanding musical performance and outstanding general effect, which takes into consideration every detail from music to movement.

Mason said the awards dazzled the kids. “They were screaming and hollering,” on the bus ride home. The honor is akin to the Longhorns playing in a state football game, said Mason.

“I had those successes as a high school student and I still pull on them as a 51-year-old teacher,” said Mason.

The state competition takes place Saturday, Nov. 6 at Cesar Chavez High School in Phoenix. Before state, the kids will compete one more time.

Mason said she signed the kids up for many competitions to allow them every opportunity to score high enough to attend state.

This year, however, the band has outperformed itself.

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