Skip to main content

Davis Journal

FHS marching band scores big at state and national competitions

Nov 29, 2021 01:22PM ● By Becky Ginos

The Farmington High School marching band performs ‘Level Up!’ during the 2021 state competition in St. George. The show featured light displays and the school’s drill team, the Nixelles. Photo by Lisa Gemperline

FARMINGTON—The school may only be four years old, but the Farmington High School marching band is giving the competition a run for their money. The school moved up to 6A this year and placed second in state and third in the national Bands of America competition held in St. George Nov. 5-6.

“It was our first time in 6A,” said FHS Band Director Brek Mangelson. “The band placed second our first year in 2018, then we were the back to back state champions in 2019 and 2020.”

In the end it comes down to the students, he said. “They’re the ones performing. They work really hard and put in an enormous amount of time. We also have a great staff. There are staff members who live in Utah County and drive an hour one way to get here.”

The program changes each year, said Mangelson. “Sometimes we come up with a concept then look for the music or we come up with the music then create a concept.”

The theme for this year’s performance was “Level Up!” and featured a light display and drill team dancers. “We chose Level Up because we would have to have a higher standard since we knew we’d be going up to 6A,” he said. “A lot of the kids are gamers so it was fun and they were excited about that.”

It’s basically the theme for our season, Mangelson said. “We leveled up in music and visual elements. We had the Nixelles, our drill team, that we added for visual stimulation to ‘Level Up’ just like in a video game.”

The Nixelles performed one show with the band at the Davis Cup, he said. “We had designed the show without them so it was a daunting task to add them but the students had an incredible time.”

Mangelson has been with FHS since it opened and started the band program at Westlake High School in Saratoga Springs as well and was there for nine years. “I was at Lehi High School from 2007 to 2009 and they split to make Skyridge and Westlake split to make Cedar Valley,” he said. “It was fun to see all five programs in the finals. It was cool to see the success of all the programs participating in band.”

The FHS band has 124 students and 39 Nixelles. “We were definitely the smallest band in 6A,” said Mangelson. “When the school opened I was told to expect about 125-150 students but we haven’t reached that. We had 63 the first year. The second year we grew to 78, then 98 and 124 this year. It’s grown every year but it’s not where we anticipated.”

When Davis High was split to create the new high school, the majority stayed at Davis, he said. “Our motto is ‘there is nothing more fun than being really good at something.’ Success breeds success. It’s fun for the students to see their hard work payoff.”