The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

CHS band takes Zia festival title


October 17, 2018

Courtesy photo: Amy Holmes

Clovis senior Drum Major Melissa Reyna holds up the Zia Marching Band Fiesta trophy during Saturday's awards ceremony.

CLOVIS — The Clovis High marching band entered the school year with a goal of once again being the best band in the state. A few weeks ago, it found out it would also have the challenge of giving the state's best "Dia de los Muertos" performance.

Check, and check.

The Wildcat band eked by Onate - which had the same Day of the Dead theme as Clovis - Saturday at the University of New Mexico to claim another Zia Marching Fiesta title.

Zia is generally regarded as the state's marching band championship, and Clovis swept the awards for outstanding music effect, outstanding general effect and outstanding Class 4A band in both the preliminaries and finals.

In each case, Clovis finished less than a point ahead of Onate — 88.55-87.8 in the prelims, then 88.2-87.5 in the finals — for its seventh-consecutive Zia title. It was the band's 18th New Mexico title overall, along with its 13th grand champion award and 39th finals appearance in school history.

Cleveland was third at 84.05.

"Onate was really close to the kids," Clovis Band Director Bill Allred said. "We haven't had a band from the state be close to the kids point-wise. That caused some apprehension. The kids could have wilted under that pressure, not had a good performance. But they came out and put on a dynamic performance. They put the judges in a position where they'd have to take it away; they didn't give it away."

Allred, who won his 11th Zia competition, said he discovered Onate High also had a "Dio de los Muertos" show focusing on the Mexican holiday that honors deceased family members with celebrations of children and the elderly. While both bands started at Point A, it was clear they reached a very different Point B.

"We had the same concept," Allred said. "Their music is different. Their drill is different. They were very entertaining. They played at a high level."

Allred said he also had some concerns about the Zia competition being scheduled so early in October. Larger bands like Clovis, he explained, generally suffer in early October competitions because they have more students to work on individual performances. The last time Clovis lost a Zia competition came in 2011, when Zia was held on Oct. 12.

Clovis will be hard-pressed to finish the October competition season with a 4-0 mark. It's preparing until Oct. 25, when it departs for the Bands of America St. Louis Super Regional Championship. Allred said at the beginning of the season that reaching the finals would be a coup for Clovis

"We're going to change the end of the show," Allred said. "There will be some interesting performances. People will have to see for themselves (what will change). Whatever you've seen on videos or this past Saturday, it's going to be different from that. We've also got to continue to tighten up everything we do."


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