Spirit of Jupiter Marching Band places third at state competition

Photos provided by Ryan Ross

Jupiter High’s Spirit of Jupiter Marching Band placed third at the Florida Marching Band Championship on Nov. 20 in Fort Lauderdale, concluding their fall 2022 season. 

The marching band includes color guard, drumline, front ensemble, and the marching hornline, which consists of 94 students total. On the day of the competition, the team endured setbacks due to the weather conditions. 

“Right before we went on the field for our final run it started pouring,” Andrew Kowalski, senior, said. “The mics and speakers didn’t work, and the entire front ensemble, the pianos and xylophones, and our props couldn’t go out.”

The band had a successful performance despite the difficulties. 

“It was cold and wet and uncomfortable but it was great to know we were great in the worst conditions,” Robert McNally, senior, said. 

Ryan Ross, the band director, put together a team of professionals to help design the show.

“I have a music arranger who writes all the music, I have a drill writer who writes the movements, the color guard and percussion directors, and then we have choreographers,” Ross said.

The students prepared all year after school for this competition, including three weeks in the summertime. Their hours are extensive: 4:30-8:30 p.m. on Mon. and Wed., and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. every Sat. 

“They just want to be here, as much as they complain and get tired and stressed, they keep coming back and they work their butts off and they are really good,” Ross said.  

The students have found a community through all of the hard work and time spent together. 

“I continued to stay [in band] because I found that I liked music more than I thought and because I met my best friend and we just decided to have fun in band together,” McNally said. 

Marching band gives an outlet for almost 100 students which drives them to continue working hard. 

“They have 93 […] people that have the same common goal and drive and just want to succeed, it is a good environment to be in,” Ross said. 

The students were thrilled to place third in the competition. 

“I was really proud of our band for putting in an undeniable amount of effort to perform and undoubtedly a great show,” McNally said.