The band marches on in Colville

(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)

The Colville Marching Band performs at Super One Foods. (Brandon Hansen photos)

NEVER A DULL MOMENT: Colville marching band continues to play even when school is out for summer…

When does the Colville High School Marching Band get some time off? In June, the band plays for graduation and gets prepared for the fall. In July, the marching band runs a week-long camp for younger musicians. In August, there is a marching camp before school starts so the band is ready for the halftime show during Colville football games.

So… the band just continues to march on.

The Colville Marching Band recently kicked off its spring season by performing at local Colville schools and Super One Foods before marching at the Blossom Parade in Wenatchee. They will also be in the Lilac Parade in Spokane this weekend. Throw in a full concert and festival schedule along with field shows during the upcoming football season, and you can see this isn’t a light commitment for students or Colville staff.

“I’ve taught in small schools my whole career, and I wouldn’t have it any other way,” Colville Band Director Brent Purvis said. “My band students are often the movers and shakers in our school. They are involved in every sport and every activity. I wouldn’t have it any other way, but scheduling events is challenging.”

As anyone attending a Colville football game knows, this band can play with the best of them. Combined with impressive routines and catchy music, it’s a hoot to hear when you’re waiting for the second half of the football game to begin. This level of quality is the result of the band meeting every school day with Purvis balancing both music rehearsal time and concert rehearsal time.

The summer marching camp ensures Colville students are ready for football games even before classes begin in the fall. “Once August hits the calendar, my brain hits the switch to school,” Purvis, who balances family life and work, said. “I start writing music and drills for the upcoming season. Being a high school band director is certainly beyond a full-time job.”

The Colville Marching Band has been in its current form for about five years. Purvis is mindful of making it fun and it shows during a performance. “The trick is to find the balance and not let marching band rule our musical lives,” Purvis said. “With that in mind, I think our students take great pride in what we do.”

Purvis credits his colleagues in the school district for being supportive of the band. The parking lot at Super One Foods was filled with people to watch the band perform.

“Our music staff in district is phenomenal; our administration is very supportive,” Purvis said. “Our parents and community really support our band kids, and our band means a lot to our entire school. This is a team effort for sure.”