COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — The first stop on our “Hearts of Champions” tour is at Pine Creek High School, where they’re getting ready for their upcoming season with some renewed support — from the school’s administration.
The Pine Creek Eagle Marching Band has about 100 students under the direction of band directors Kate Margrave and Stoney Black. They said they pride themselves on building a music program where students feel connected, and the school’s administrative team is doing just that.
“We have this incredible administrative team who wants us to succeed,” Margrave said. “They come to our performances, they show up at our concerts. ... They come over just to say hello to the students, and that really helps the students feel connected to the school and feel like they really matter.”
Kathleen Raphael is one of the assistant principals for the high school in Academy School District 20. She said it’s their mission to make sure every student feels supported.
“When we’re not supporting performing arts, we’re not supporting academics,” Raphael said. “Performing arts is where a lot of kids feel that they could end up belonging and they can be part of a team, and that’s one of the really important things for kids.”
“We’re really lucky we have a great administration,” Black said. “We have everything happening here and a lot of people really willing to dig in.”
The show of administrative support has caught the eye of students like senior drum major Morgan Sauer, who said they haven’t always had that support in the past.
“It’s awesome,” Sauer said. “The administration has come to our competitions out of town, and we see them in the stands, the audience, we see them on the sidelines.”
Last year, this marching band finished 4th in the 4A state finals. This year, the school will compete for the 5A title. Senior drum major Tyler Allen said that move is a motivation for the marching band.
“This year, I think we have a little more pressure on us,” Allen said. “I think that’s really going to motivate everybody to do even better than we ever have.”
> Video below: The Pine Creek Eagles from Colorado Springs perform at the 2021 4A state finals:
Editor's note: This story is part of 9NEWS' "Hearts of Champions: Marching Across Colorado" series, where we're highlighting marching bands across the state. Watch our full stories Friday mornings through the middle of September. Share your photos and memories with us using #Bandon9.
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