Saturday, November 14, 2009

An American band

"Grief-stricken American Fork baritone marching band members pray on the practice field at American Fork High School, Monday, Nov. 9, 2009. In October, their woodwind instructor Heather Christensen was killed in a bus accident. The band is trying to raise quarter million dollars in donations to go to Grand Nationals with Christensen in their memory. Many sections of the band decided to go home to try and raise money, while while others remained to practice and build unity."

What's to say? This band has been through a lot, yet has also made it so far.

After a tragic bus accident, then winning an emotional competition to qualify them for the Bands of America Grand National Championships in Indianapolis, to trying to raise a quarter million dollars in two days, they continue to achieve.

Earlier this week, the band raised more than $225,000 in two days to make the trip to nationals. But that wasn't without thinking about the one they lost in the accident in October.

It was a difficult assignment. I sat in on the meeting, watched tears fall, witnessed their plan to raise money.

While many went home to try and get friends and family to help them raise money, some practiced, others met as sections to talk. I was sent to take pictures of them rehearsing, but I felt there was more beyond that.

I waited patiently for a telling moment and shot maybe 30 frames the entire time there. But I think it paid off. And despite the mood, I thought color still worked. Thoughts?

After the article ran, not only did they raise the money, but the American Fork Marching Band has qualified for the semifinals of the Bands of America Grand National Championships. The band will perform again today.

The field competition will feature roughly 36 bands, and then 12 bands will then advance to Finals on Saturday evening.

I wish them much luck.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Color works better. It makes the image feel more current and personal. The composition makes their story more intimate. It might be a little too early in their story to focus on practice?

Saturday, November 14, 2009 1:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was one of the baritone players in this picture. I know it has been five years, but I want to thank you for the kind and respectful way in which you treated us while obtaining this image. The way that many reporters and photographers preyed on us made me hate them, yet you seemed to go out of your way to make us comfortable. You gave me hope for the world in a dark time. Thank you.

Friday, October 10, 2014 6:56:00 PM  

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