Opinion: Agua Fria’s Marching Band; Back and Better Than Ever

By: Ariana Moreno

OwlFeed Journalist


“There were rough patches, but there were also good times. But we all still came out strong together. We fall together and we get back up together, as a family.” – Josue Castillo

Agua Fria High School was established in the year 1928 and is known to be an “A” performing school. There are so many roots that make Agua Fria the school it is today. Agua Fria’s Marching Band, one of the biggest influences on the culture of the school we know today.

This year, we have the pleasure of meeting a new music director, Jeremy Garcia. His responsibilities include the direction of the Symphonic Band, Marching Band, Guitar, as well as Choir. Mr. Garcia graduated from the University of Pittsburgh and earned his Bachelors in Arts. In addition, he also attended West Chester University of Pennsylvania where he earned his Teaching Certification.

Mr. Garcia moved here to Arizona for the first time this summer with his girlfriend Ashley. In addition he accepted employment as Agua Fria’s director and conductor. He explained to me that he “wanted to build a program from the ground up” which considerably correlates with all the new traditions Garcia has brought to the marching band. Many of these traditions are from Garcia’s own experiences in college. One of these traditions involved a senior who would conduct the band at the end of rehearsal. Each senior would get the chance to conduct the band on a different day chosen by the director. However, this does not occur until the season nears the end.

I myself had the pleasure of performing this year in the Agua Fria Marching Band. Although I am a senior and this was my first and last year being a part of the band, it was an amazing experience and an honor to perform with such talented students.

Josue Castillo, a senior this year at Agua Fria High School is also a member of the band.

Josue has been a member of the band since his freshmen year playing the alto saxophone.

“With change there always comes bad things and good things. We’ve seen a lot of that throughout the years. It’s very astonishing to me that the band has endured so much change head on and the band will not stop until their hearts are content and filled with passion….” – Josue Castillo

Photo courtesy of Alma Reyes

The band did go through a tough time for a year or two under a different director, but that didn’t stop them from doing what they love the most. There’s so much heart and soul that these students put into the marching band; on the field and off the field they’re always passionate about what they do. The band spent nearly 6 to 9 hours a week (not including all the hours spent at football games) working on our production called ‘Beyond The Forest’s Edge’. During fall break while most high school students were relaxing, the marching band was up almost every day that week working from 9am to 5pm getting prepared for our Saturday competition. Even our principal Mr. Molina believes that the marching band is “one of the hardest working teams on our campus”.

Hopefully the following year the band will qualify for super state, this is what Garcia is aiming for and I have the ever most confidence the band can/will qualify. Marching band was one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I can only wait to see what the band has in store for the future.