Combs Band: The New State Champs

After a long season of rehearsing music and exhausting early morning practices, the Combs Marching Regiment (MCR) finished their competition season undefeated by becoming the Arizona State Champions.

The band competed at the Arizona State University Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 18. When all was said and done, they earned a score of 74.681 points at the ABODA (Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association) Competition.

“It was such a great feeling to have the announcer say we won, and hearing that for the last time was amazing,” Drum Major Oscar Guerrero said.

The unblemished season had some band members downplaying the accomplishment.

“Honestly it was pretty funny. My friend Preston was taking a video and he literally turned the camera to me saying ’It’s no big deal, bro, it’s no big deal,’ and that’s literally it. That was my whole reaction,” senior Logan Pino said. “It was cool, it felt good. You know all through high school not really doing good at competitions and to finally win, and to be undefeated the entire season was pretty cool.”

An overly confident Pino said that he knew that they were going to win, but others were still a little cautious.

“I was a bit nervous, just because last year we had some really really good competition like Mesquite, for instance,” junior Shayla Gibbons said. “They were our biggest competition last year.”

Others had the same worries for their group.

“I think Coolidge was right behind us this season, so I was a little nervous about that. But I went in fully confident of myself, my section, and my bandmates,” senior Miranda Newell said. “I was hoping, but I was preparing myself just in case it wasn’t what I hoped.”

The band had been practicing their show for months, and having 6 a.m. practices. Band Director J.J. Mixdorf, as well as the other members, all agreed the practices to be beneficial while also miserable.

“It was beneficial but it was absolute torture. Waking up at like, five, every morning was not fun. I lost a lot of sleep over it. I had eye bags for like, two weeks. Actually, scratch that, more like seven weeks,” Newell said.

While this was the last season for some, the other members are preparing for the next and hungry for another title.

“We had our trials and our tribulations, and we had our difficulties. But in the end, there’s going to be issues and things to overcome. Given everything we’ve gone through, we did a really good job at persevering,” Mixdorf said.

Next year’s returners expect a bigger band, and hopefully moving up to a different division with more competition.