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Loveland High School marching band ready to carry on tradition

In part five of the "Hearts of Champions" series, history and a family legacy has the Crimson Regiment ready to get back on the field.

LOVELAND, Colo. — The final stop on our “Hearts of Champions” tour is with the Loveland High School marching band, where after two years away, they’re keeping the Crimson Regiment tradition alive.

The marching band hasn’t competed since 2019, before the state championships were canceled due to weather. In 2020, they were forced to take the year off from marching due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The school’s director of bands, Kyle Freesen, said they are trying to build momentum off the 2019 season.

“We had about 700 days off from marching band,” Freesen said. “I have friends across the country who aren’t able to do what we’re doing here, and so I’m thankful for the opportunity, for our community and how they’ve handled restrictions that allow us to get our here and do this again.”

Credit: Byron Reed

This year, the 4A band is trying to re-connect at its pre-season band camp. These camps are held in the heat of the summer, usually starting around the first weeks of August.

They last usually for two weeks and for about 10 hours a day. Band members do calisthenics, run, and get in shape so they can learn to perform a 71/2-minute show.

It’s a show that these 158 band members perform while marching, running, playing their instruments and tossing flags.

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Credit: Byron Reed

“Basically, hours of some pretty grueling, hard, grit work,” said senior alto saxophonist Aaron Koso. “To really get us in shape for the for the future season of marching band.”

“It’s hard, but it’s so much fun,” said incoming freshman Addyson Kuzmich. “My mom talks about (marching band) all the time.”

Credit: Byron Reed
Freshman Addyson Kuzmich is excited to carry on a family tradition with the Loveland High School Crimson Regiment

Addyson plays the flute and didn’t have to search too hard for a reason to join.

Her mom, Jen Kuzmich, also played flute and was the drum major for the Crimson Regiment in 2001.

Jen Kuzmich said she joined band because of her mom, who played clarinet for the Loveland High School marching band.

It’s a family legacy that Addyson said she is excited to continue this year.

Credit: Jen Kuzmich
Band parent Jen Kuzmich was the drum major for the Crimson Regiment in 2001

“(My mom) was the reason why I started playing the flute,” Addyson said. “It was amazing to hear her stories, and I really wanted to do it too, so I joined.”

“It is a lot of fun, and they are your friends for life, and they will always have your back,” added her mom. “She’s never been a part of something bigger than herself, and band is just that.”

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It’s a connection that these high schoolers have to a marching band that has some history of its own.

“Loveland High has had a band program since 1913,” Freesen said. “So, there’s a long set of traditions, and we’re trying to catch up two years of kids with all of our traditions.”

After camps, it's rehearsals before, during and after school to perfect the show that most see only during halftime of football games.

In high school, the weekend competitions begin in September, where marching bands compete against one another, culminating into the state championships in the fall.

Credit: Byron Reed

“It’s been really good to re-start all of that,” Freesen said. “It’s a delicate balance, and it’s not anything that myself or staff have ever prepared for.”

It’s a long legacy that these marching members understand they’re part of as they try to bring a state title back home for their family and friends.

Credit: Jen Kuzmich
Addyson Kuzmich, middle poses with her grandmother, left and mom Jen Kuzmich, right

“I hope they realize that they stand on the shoulders of giants of these families that came before them, their siblings, parents or even people they don’t know.” Freesen said.

 Editor's note: This story is part of 9NEWS' "Hearts of Champions: The Re-set" series, where we're highlighted marching bands across the state. Share your photos and memories with us using #Bandon9

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