Last Saturday, at the Mt. Timpanogos Marching Band Competition at Pleasant Grove High School, the Westlake Marching Thunder placed third in 5A with a score of 86.538.
Westlake finished 2.4 points behind Davis High School and pulled ahead of Herriman High School by just seven-tenths of a point. The American Fork band took first. Despite the cold weather, they continued the tradition of playing an encore after the awards ceremony.
The Marching Thunder’s scheduled performance time was 8:45 pm, but their day started at 3:30 pm with a short rehearsal period. After arriving at Pleasant Grove, the first item on the agenda was to show their support for another band – Farmington High School, whose director formerly taught at Westlake. They filled the stadium with cheers and shouts of “Westlake loves Farmington!”. Dinner remained cheerful, but the atmosphere quieted as the band got into uniform. “It’s focus time,” declared staff members and student leaders alike. There was no energy lost here; the Thunder kept an intense focus throughout over an hour of preparation.
Finally, the time came to perform. “When it was our turn to take the field, I couldn’t help but be a little nervous,” said Zach Sherwood, a junior tuba player. “It was so fun. There really is nothing more amazing than performing something you’ve worked on for three months.” That work has paid off for Westlake. Their Oct. 16 score was four full points higher than their Sept. 29 score from their Utah State University performance.