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'That’s what kept me going': Windsor High marching band supported its drum major after surgery

The Pride of Windsor Marching Band is getting help to make sure everyone feels included.

WINDSOR, Colo. — The second stop on our 2022 “Hearts of Champions” tour is at Windsor High School, where the Pride of Windsor Marching Band combines hard work and teamwork to prepare for their competitive marching season.

This 3A marching band prides itself on making connections on and off the field, to make sure everyone feels connected.

Jennifer Grice is the school’s former band director and a current band parent. All four of her daughters grew up with a love of music and eventually joined the band program. She said the Pride of Windsor Marching Band is one big family.

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“They’ve grown up in the marching band,” Grice said. “As little kids, we used to take stroller out, and they would just sit and watch the marching bands literally since they were babies.”

Credit: Byron Reed
Windsor High School drum major Joy Perry-Grice: "I was scared I wouldn’t be able to conduct, but here I am, and I’m back."

Grice's daughter, Joy Perry-Grice, is the marching band’s drum major. It’s a role she didn’t think was possible for her as recently as the summer, after a second surgery to repair her scoliosis. She said it was her friends in marching band who got her through a tough time.

“The first surgery, we corrected it, and this surgery, we took out the rods,” Perry-Grice said. “It was one of my lowest points that I’ve been through, and it was really nice to look forward to something, and I really looked forward to marching band, and that’s what kept me going.”

Credit: Byron Reed
The Pride of Windsor Marching Band

That feeling of family is also felt in the Windsor community. Local businesses and families have made donations to subsidize some student fees for the marching band program.

Jennifer Werth is a first-year band parent and said some people can’t afford the fees, but they want to make everyone feels included.

“We love to see the parents and the community jump in and get together,” Werth said. "Windsor is a very supportive community, and so when they support the music program, we really appreciate it.”

Credit: Byron Reed
The Pride of Windsor Marching Band

Last year, the marching band finished second in the 3A state finals. This year, they hope to bring home the state title, despite a drop in their numbers after graduating 24 seniors.

This family of 47 marching members said that’s their motivation. It’s a dedication that their drum major hopes will pay off.

Credit: Byron Reed
The Pride of Windsor Marching Band

“Even though it’s gotten smaller, we still have this big sound, and we’ve learned to just work with our small band,” Perry-Grice said. “I just really hope that we do our best at competitions no matter what place we get.”

> Video below: The Pride of Windsor Marching Band competes at the 3A state finals in 2021:

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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