The Prospect High School Marching Knights band and color guard, directed by Chris Barnum, was recognized with a proclamation presentation by Arlington Heights Mayor Arlene J. Mulder and the Arlington Heights village board at its monthly meeting on Monday, Dec. 3.
"Prospect High School is known for its band -- they've been a highlight of our community for over 30 years," said Mulder in recognizing the Marching Knights for another winning season of garnering championships and top placements at the local, state and regional levels. "Arlington Heights is proud that this District 214 school has such an outstanding championship record. This is a group of unique students -- who are also well-rounded, involved in multiple activities, disciplined and good students, academically. Together, they make up our premier high school marching band that is known throughout the country."
Indeed, once again this year, the PMK was named Illinois Class 5A State Champions at the 46th State of Illinois Invitational Marching Band Championships, at Illinois State University. The Prospect Marching Knights also have been named Grand Champions at the University of Illinois Marching Band Festival a record 30 times. They have been selected for the finals at least five times at Bands of America Grand National Championships and have placed among the top 10 finalists three times in the past four years at BOA Super Regional competitions. BOA Championships are recognized as the premier high school marching band events in the United States. The Regional Championships offer world-class band performances by many of the finest high school marching bands in America.
In addition, the Prospect band sponsors several community outreach events throughout the year, including an annual car wash in June; its "A Day as a Knight" family music festival in August; and "Middle School Night" in October, to which all Prospect feeder middle school band students are invited to participate with the band in George Gattas Memorial Stadium, as the opener to a Prospect football home game.
They are also regular participants in the Mount Prospect Memorial Day parade and ceremony, as well as both Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect July 4 parades. On Nov. 8-12, the PMK traveled to New York, to march in the city's annual Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, and to participate in The Band of Pride Tribute, a performance to honor veterans in Times Square. On Friday, Dec. 7, the PMK organization was invited to launch the nine-day Magical Animated Holiday Lights Show at Randhurst Village in Mount Prospect, with a special performance.
The Marching Knights, comprised of about 155 Prospect High School students, are led by Drum Majors Destiny Duraj, Ted Marzolf and Alex Yoo. Chris Barnum, a former brass staff member of the Cavaliers Drum and Bugle Corps, has served as director of bands at Prospect since 2006. In 2012, the PHS music department was designated one of the top six music programs in the nation by the GRAMMY Foundation. Prospect received the 2012 Grammy Signature Schools Gold award in recognition of its demonstrated excellence in music education.
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