American Fork Band Announces new creative team for 2022 marching band
The 2022 American Fork High School Marching Band will be bringing a new Creative Team to the field. "This new team will feature many familiar faces but in new roles," says Orien Landis, Director of Bands at American Fork High School. "We are most excited to have Jess Slabaugh taking on some new responsibilities as our new Program Coordinator/ Artistic Director." In this role, Jess will be spearheading the creative process, coordinating everything from costumes to flag design and music selection to drill design. This is a huge undertaking as the band is hoping to return to Indianapolis in 2022 for the Bands of America Grand Nationals Championships.
Another familiar face taking on a new role is John Meehan. John has been a music arranger for American Fork since the early 2000's. In this new role, he will be helping as a Music Coordinator. He will be instrumental in choosing music and developing the process of how the music will lend itself to the visual elements of the 2022 show.
Peter Bates will return as Visual Caption Head but will also be taking on new opportunities as a visual designer for the 2022 season. "We are ecstatic to be including Peter more in depth as a visual designer of the show. His knowledge of the marching arts is extensive and we know it will only lead to a better product for the students," says Orien.
John Escalante has been with the band for nearly 5 years as a dance instructor and movement expert. He will retain this position but will also be helping as a Design Consultant. "John has been with some of the best drum corps, dance companies, and marching bands across the nation for decades," says Mr. Landis. "His knowledge of what makes a show work will be instrumental in helping American Fork achieve new heights in 2022."
An essential part to the depth of the colorguard is Jaycee Wilson. He has been with the AF band for many years and will continue to work in this role. He will return as a Colorguard Coordinator and Choreographer. "The band and especially the colorguard is extremely happy to have Jaycee back this next year. His knowledge and talent will continue to help us reach new heights," say Mr. Landis.
Michele Alger and Bix Hollenbach will be returning as Woodwind Caption Head and Brass Caption Head respectively. "Bix and Michele are invaluable to our organization. They are in front of the students every day. How the students play and the success they achieve on the field is 100% directly related to their expert teaching. We hope they will be around for years to come," says Orien Landis.
Dana Slabaugh, Director of Percussion at American Fork High School, will continue his responsibilities as Battery Arranger and Percussion Caption Head. His beats are easily recognizable as the standard for all drumlines and front ensembles to reach around the state of Utah.
Sean Gordon will be reprising his role as Front Ensemble Arranger and Sound Design for the 5th year for the AF Marching Band.
Lastly there is Leon May. Leon came to American Fork in 2015 as the drill writer. Leon is recognized nationally as the "King of BOA" with more bands making finals using his drill than any other drill writer. "We are happy to have him back in 2022. His special ability to design drill that lends itself to the success of the ensemble is paramount for our band. He is "The" drill designer to have around the country and we are extremely happy to continue our relationship with Leon for many years to come," says Landis.
The 2022 Creative Team is already off and running. Design meetings have revealed important elements for the future show. By January the team hopes to have a working model of the show followed by wind arrangements, front ensemble, and battery parts coming shortly after that. By April the team expects to announce the 2022 production. Students will have to wait patiently until then to find out the show's title and concept. The band also hopes to announce returning and new staff members in April as well at the step-off meeting. A full list of the Creative Team can be found below:
Jess Slabaugh: Program Coordinator/ Artistic Director/ Director of Colorguard
John Meehan: Music Coordinator/ Arranger
Peter Bates: Visual Caption Head/ Visual Designer
Leon May: Drill Design
Jaycee Wilson: Colorguard Coordinator/ Choreographer
John Escalante: Design Consultant
Sean Gordon: Sound Design/ Front Ensemble Arranger
Dana Slabaugh: Director of Percussion/ Battery Arranger
Michele Alger: Woodwind Caption Head
Bix Hollenbach: Brass Caption Head
A full list of dates for the 2022 Season can be found by visiting www.americanforkband.com and clicking on the calendar tab. Below are a few key dates
- Jan 4th: MB Leadership Packets Go Out
- Jan 26th: Parent and Student Informational Meeting AFJH Auditorium @ 6pm
- Feb 25th: Contracts and First Payments Due
- Feb 25th: MB Leadership Auditions 3-7pm AFHS Band Room
WELCOME TO THE AMERICAN FORK HS BANDs
The American Fork H.S. Band program consists of over 300 students in grades 9-12. The Marching Band performs in several local parades each summer and the competitive band has been the Utah State Marching Band Champions for the past 26 years. The Concert and Jazz Bands have received consistent Superior ratings at local and regional festivals for the past 25 years. The following is a listing of some most notable accomplishments by the American Fork HS Band:
- National Band Association Program of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award National Recipient: 2017
- John Philip Sousa “Sudler Shield” Recipient: 2010
- National Band Association Program of Excellence Blue Ribbon Award Western Regional Recipient: 2016
- Utah State Marching Band Champions for the past 26 years
- Bands of America Grand National Finalist: 1995
- Bands of America Grand National Semi-Finalist: 2002, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2013, 2018
- Bands Of America St. George Regional Champions: 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2019
- Bands Of America Las Vegas Regional Champions: 2008
- Bands Of America St. George Regional Class 4A 1st Place, 2nd Place Overall: 2010
- Bands Of America St. George Regional 2nd Place Overall: 2011, 2018
- New York City Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: 2007, 2014
- Bands of America National Concert Band Festival: 2003
- Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade: 1998, 2012
- 2005 Presidential Inaugural Parade in Washington DC
- 2002 Utah Official Band for announcement of SLC Winter Olympics