Canyon High School Band hosts March-A-Thon tradition

More than 150 band members gathered in Canyon Saturday morning for their annual 10-mile march throughout the city.

The March-A-Thon fundraiser tradition has been part of the Canyon High School Band's agenda since the mid 1980s. The kids march up and down the streets of Canyon while playing the songs they perform at football games.

"We're hoping to bring in around $20,000," said Band Director Mike Sheffield. "This will help us get charter coaches for our two contests. We go out of state to Oklahoma and New Mexico."

Some of the money raised will also go toward hotel rooms for the band when they go out of town. Sheffield said staying the night in a hotel is a safer option than traveling through the night.

Despite the early morning, sweat and exhaustion, the students have a good time. To them, it is about more than just working for money.

Senior Drum Major Tristen Tellman has been a member of band since since she was in the sixth grade and, to her, band is family.

"I really think it just shows us that we can do anything," she said. Our show's only eight minutes long, but we can still march 10 miles and make it through it as a band. It kind of shows us that we, all of our band members, are here and we're here to help each other and it's not just an individual thing."

The band takes several breaks during the march and stays energized with fluids and food. Parents follow in their vehicles and give aid to students in need.

"Really, I think it's a right-of-passage for some of our incoming, new students, our incoming freshmen," said Tellman. It's just a way for us to connect and become a bigger band family."