Palisade High band marches to beat the heat

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PALISADE, Colo (KJCT) -- This might be one of the hottest weeks this year. Triple digits are possible Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

However, scorching temperatures are not stopping the Palisade High School Band.

The marching band was battling the blazing sun Tuesday on the black top of the school parking lot preparing for the upcoming season.

Practicing on the black surface may increase the heat but it allows the directors to paint all the necessary field markers so the musicians can get to their spots quickly.

"I think some people think we're a little crazy for doing that," said band director Jeff Mason. "That's part of the training and the toughness that the kids need.”

The kids didn’t seem to mind.

"It's not too bad if you don’t think about it," said drum major Honda Mendoza.

Band leaders make sure the students all have 64 ounce water jugs and Mason asks them to drink one full jug before lunch and one after lunch. The band also provides wet cooling towels.

"It’s a teaching moment to listen to your body to make sure you’re taking care of yourself,” said Mason.

The band members like to have fun to keep their minds off the heat. Today was mix match dress-up day.

"Being optimistic is a really huge thing,” Mendoza said.

As drum major Mendoza said she planned a dress-up day every day this week. Each section of the band receives a point for every person who dresses up. The winners receive a party at the end of camp.

"I think these sort of things just put a little more fun or a little more umph in the whole marching band thing,” Mendoza said.

Mendoza said helping each other through the heat helps bring them together as a family and makes for a better show.

"I honestly think it's going to be one of the best years we have because we have an awesome show,” Mendoza said.

That wouldn't be possible without the foreheads of dripping sweat this week.

"You have to push through even the heat or the cold later on in the season and just make the show come alive,” Mendoza said.

This year the band will be the first band from the valley to compete in Bands of America. The regional competition is in St. George, Utah in October.

Their show is called the da Vinci Sketches and you can find more information about their performances on the right side of the screen.

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