The Grand County High School Marching Band performed at the MoabBandAid concert in 2015. This year’s concert will be held at Swanny City Park on Friday, Aug. 17. [Courtesy photo]

The Grand County High School (GCHS) Marching Band has a goal to purchase new band uniforms in the upcoming school year, and to do so, the band is performing a fundraiser concert on Friday, Aug. 17, at Swanny City Park.

The sixth annual MoabBandAid concert is from 4-7 p.m. during the Moab Farmers Market.

The band and color guard are presenting their newest music and routine for the 2018-19 school year. The 30 students involved — 17 in the band and 13 in the color guard — are performing throughout the school year at football games, parades, and statewide competitions.  

GCHS’s new band director, Chris Raybould, said the performance includes new and old songs, as well as “some current popular music.”

Raybould declined to elaborate on the song list ahead of the fundraiser.

“We will leave the selection of music a surprise,” he said.

Raybould added that the band has been finding support in Moab, and they are “getting close to their goal” of $7,000 for the new uniforms.

“New uniforms are important because it allows us to look like a real band, be serious competitors and give a sense of pride for the high school and the community,” he said.

Student drum major and senior Auburn Jackman is leading the marching band’s performance under Raybould’s musical direction. Jenna Hawks is the color guard captain.

“Marching Band is almost entirely funded through the generous donations of the community,” Jackman said. “Without them, we wouldn’t be able to purchase music or drill rights, choreography and flags for the color guard, or pay for buses and hotel fees, all of which add up very quickly. Not only that, but we are trying to grow our program, which is extremely hard to do without the right funds. MoabBandAid is one of the main ways that our band is able to obtain the necessary funding.”

“Not only does it help the marching band,” she said “but all the other GCHS music programs as well, including, but not limited to, the jazz band, concert band, and choir.”

“I think that it’s a good school program to be involved in,” said Johna Murphy, mother of marching band clarinetist Preston Thornburg.  “It teaches discipline through marching and working well with others. It’s been a great experience, and he actually looks forward to getting out and going to band, even on the really long days.”

Raybould explained just how long those “really long days” can be.  

“We just had band camp last week, Monday through Friday, all day, each day — about 11-hour days,” said Raybould.  “It was intense, but [there were] also plenty of breaks.”

Jackman elaborated on the intensity of marching band membership.  

“We practice every morning at 6:30 a.m. before our regular school classes, [and] some after school practices,” she said. “We spend hours and hours memorizing show pieces, running through drill, and learning marching technique.”

But hard work is not the only aspect of being in the marching band.  

“We have so much fun,” Jackman said. “We laugh and joke and play games, we watch movies and play pranks on each other, we play our music, and most importantly, I feel like the band watches out for each other. There have been times when someone in the band is having a hard day, or is going through some hard things, and then people in the band come together to reach out to them.”

Jackman had a message for all those who have donated or will donate this year.  

“Thank you for making it possible for us to follow our passion for music and allowing our programs to thrive,” she said.

Donations to the GCHS Marching Band can be made during the MoabBandAid concert on Friday, or donors may contact the band’s director, Christopher Raybould, at, or call the GCHS Finance Office at 435-259-8931.

Grand County High School Marching Band is fundraising for new uniforms

“We are trying to grow our program, which is extremely hard to do without the right funds. BandAid is one of the main ways that our band is able to obtain the necessary funding.”

What: BandAid concert

When: Friday, Aug. 17, 4-7 p.m.

Where: Swanny City Park, 400 N. 100 West

Why: Fundraiser for new uniforms

Cost: Donations suggested

Contact: Christopher Raybould at