Woods Cross High School instrumental music students have voted to discontinue the school's prize-winning marching band.
Band instructor Stephen H. Richins said Friday the school's Booster Club sent out a questionnaire to 165 students, and only 38 said they wanted to continue the competitive marching band.Only three students said they wanted to have a marching band that would play in local parades.
"I'm disappointed, certainly, but I can understand why the students voted not to continue the competitive marching band," Richins said.
"Band students and their parents have already invested quite a lot of money in their instruments, and they continue to spend money maintaining them."
Band students were told they would have to come up with between $170 and $220 each by June to participate in a competitive marching band. School officials said the money was necessary to buy instruments and equipment and to build a staff to support Richins and pay for other expenses through the summer and the 1988-1989 school year.
"It is too bad economic conditions in Utah allow the state to budget so little money to support school bands, but there have been budget cuts everywhere, and we've felt the cuts at Woods Cross High," Richins said.
Begun in 1977, the 150-member marching band, which included flag, rifle and other auxiliaries, became one of the most famous high school bands in Utah, won a host of state, regional and national prizes and captured top trophies in many Canadian contests.
School officials said earlier this month that student interest in continuing the marching band seemed to be dwindling. The survey, sent out last week, only confirmed their suspicions.
Richins said the band's fame has clouded the importance and success of other segments of his music program at Woods Cross, and he pointed out that the school's jazz and concert bands are among the best in Utah.
Those two bands, consisting of about 55 students, will leave Tuesday to compete in several events in the San Francisco area and are expected to return May 8.
This summer, the band program will include instruction for jazz and concert band students and the percussion and digital music ensembles, and all four groups will perform a series of programs in south Davis County parks throughout the summer.
Next September, the band program will include these four groups plus the wind ensemble, symphonic and pep bands and advanced placement theory and advanced placement music literature.
"We'll have about 150 or more instrumental music students next year and as good a program as we've ever had or better," Richins said.