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Rye High School asks the community for help re-building long lost marching band

RYE, Colo. (KRDO) -- It's been more than 15 years since Rye High School (RHS) had a field marching band. Now, RHS Music Director Ian Watson is working to rebuild the program from scratch with the hope of eventually returning the band to its State 1A Championship Status.

Watson told KRDO that Rye High is the only school in District 70 without a marching band. He believes that bringing back the program will bring students together at athletic events.

"The goal with our marching band is to one, be ambassadors for the school and for District 70. And two, a category to compete in various parts of the state and also establishing a tradition of service, kindness, involvement." explained Watson. "One of our service projects that we're going to do is help clean up the stadium after every football game."

Images of the old marching band from the 1996-1997 school yearbook

In 1998, RHS won first place in the Southern Regional Marching Band Competition.

To bring the program back, they need more than $20,000 for uniforms. Currently, RHS has only been able to fundraise $3,000.

Watson has stepped up a lot to help rebuild this program. He repainted the music room over the summer. He said through two grants; the school was able to get new instruments. RHS also had instruments donated as well.

While the program isn't ready for this academic year, he's confident they will be able to run the program again by next year.

"What brings me hope is the students seeing the students smiles and seeing their absolute love of being in the program and seeing how much they're willing to work for the program brings me hope that this is going to work and it's worth staying here," said Watson.

New uniforms the school wants

Watson told KRDO that he does not doubt that Rye students will do well at competitions.

"I'm confident that with their motivation because they're competitive and they want to do the best they can, they want to put on good performances," said Watson

Currently, Watson is spreading the word that this program is coming back. However, he said it won't be until next year when the new marching band will compete.

RHS said they will continue to fundraise. However, they said they're also actively seeking monetary donations to help secure the uniforms and equipment necessary.

Donations can be made directly to RHS, 8083 Highway 165, Rye, CO 81069.

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Barbara Fox

Barbara is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about her here.


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