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The Student News Site of Royal Oak High School

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ROHS Marching Band earns Division 1 rating in MSBOA

The ROHS Marching Band Clarinet Section From left to right: Benjamin Peterson, Brandon Comer, Audrey Stocker, Mary Johnson, Samantha Fairo, Xavier Prokurat. Contributed by: Audrey Stocker

The ROHS Marching Band, under the direction of father daughter team  Kyrstin Jensen and David Jensen, earned a Division 1 rating after performing at the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association Festival hosted by Bloomfield Hills High School on October 9th.  

The MSBOA Festival is not a competition, but does allow bands to perform for an audience and get a rating based on how well they perform. 

“[MSBOA allows the band to] come together to perform and get rated by judges based on their technique, their sound, and their overall aesthetic,” said clarinet section leader Audrey Stocker.

The MSBOA rating system reflects a scale from 1 to 5, with  5 being the lowest rating a band can get and a 1 being the highest.

The color guard shows off their work as the rest of the marching band is playing their show, “Scare Tactics” for the MSBOA Festival. Contributed by: Laura Young

“Most bands are going to receive either a first division or a second division,” said assistant director David Jensen, who also serves as an adjudicator for other MSBOA events.  “I’ve never seen a 5. As a judge I’ve never given a 5. As a judge, I’ve never given a 4.” 

While most bands receive a Division 1 or 2 rating, that does not diminish the diligence and dedication of  the ROHS Marching Band, which has consistently earned high ratings over the years. 

Drum major Xavier Prokurat gets ready to conduct his second MSBOA Marching Band Festival performance. Contributed by: Audrey Stocker

Marching band members began work on their show, “Scare Tactics,” at the end of August and prepared as much as they could for the MSBOA Festival up until October 9th. During the first week of marching band camp, the band practiced at ROHS from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. When the school year began, the band was at the high school for two hours every Monday through Thursday.  Band members had Fridays off, as long as there wasn’t a football game. If there was a football game, they stayed from 3:30 p.m. until after the game ended. With the number of practice hours and the dedication of its members, the band earned its Division 1 rating at the MSBOA Festival. 

Band members are very proud of their Division 1 rating.

“Hearing Ms. Jensen say that she thought we were genuinely prepared was very surprising to me,  and I was very happy to hear [it],” said drum major Xavier Prokurat. 

Some members were more critical of the marching band’s performance than others. However, all were happy with the band’s Division 1 rating, knowing they put their best effort onto the field. 

The MSBOA Festival is not an event that a band is invited to. The school has to enroll the band to be a part of the district that fits not only its location, but also the band’s size and classification.  

Participating in the MSBOA Festival is a tradition for the ROHS Marching Band, and. members expressed their fondness for the Festival. They enjoy the performing aspect, as well as being a supportive audience for other bands. 

“It’s also important for our growth as a band.  Every year, we hope to improve and try new things, and getting feedback from the adjudicators is a big part of that,” said director, Kyrstin Jensen.

Many marching band members had opinions on which song was their favorite to perform from “Scare Tactics.” 

The marching band performs its show, “Scare Tactics” for the MSBOA Festival.
Contributed by: Laura Young

“I would have to say probably ‘Firebird,’ just simply because of how fun it is to end; however it is definitely the most challenging,” said ROHS color guard captain, Riley Jacobs.

“Creep” was also a piece that band members found enjoyable. 

“I really like ‘Creep’ because I feel like it’s not only like a really good song, but I feel like our drill’s really cool, and the one visual we have in there is really cool too. It’s my favorite,” said trumpet section leader Kiersten Ciccone.

  “Baba-Yaga” was the band’s third favorite song from the show “Scare Tactics,” and by default, that means the band’s opener, “Psycho,” was the least favorite piece. 

The ROHS Marching Band is diligent in their efforts and the MSBOA Festival gives them a chance to show their talents. The band plays at the football games and some track meets; however, there is more work that goes on behind the scenes. Kyrstin Jensen, who once played in the MSBOA Festival as an ROHS student,  has taken over the leadership of the band from her father, who is proud of her efforts.

“The directorship has been taken over by my daughter Kyrstin, who has assisted me for years, and she’s doing an excellent job,” he said.

Members of the marching band agree that she’s done an amazing job this year, and can’t wait to see what next year brings.

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    Mrs. HarrisNov 19, 2023 at 6:55 am

    Thank you Mac for such a great article about the Marching Band. This is such a hard working group that produces amazing results!