Saugus Marching Centurions Start Podcast To Share Their Story of Resilience

Saugus Marching Centurions Start Podcast To Share Their Story of Resilience

Despite director changes and a global pandemic, the Saugus Marching Centurions work toward their goal of marching in the 2023 Memorial Day parade in DC

Oct 21, 2022 by Natalie Shelton
Saugus Marching Centurions Start Podcast To Share Their Story of Resilience

Nestled in the valley of Santa Clarita, California is where you'll find Saugus High School. While it's possible you may not have heard of their program before, the story of the Saugus Marching Centurions is sure to hit home no matter who you are or where you come from. It's a story of overcoming adversity, facing challenges with fierce determination, and finding a support system in the people with whom you surround yourself. 

Understanding How Far They've Come

"Over the past six years, our band and color guard have faced our share of adversity," recalls Saugus Marching Centurions baritone player Brady MacDougall. The program had to overcome four different band directors in almost as many years, face dangerous wildfires in the area that prevented the program from competing in State Championships, survive a devastating school shooting, and endure a deadly global pandemic. 

It felt like they couldn't catch a break... until things finally started turning the corner.

Prior to the 2021 season, a new director (Bob Grigas) was hired and the students within the band program started buying into new systems for accomplishing their goals. Eventually, the hard work they were putting in paid off and the program began seeing the fruits of their labor.

On November 13th, 2021 the program performed a knockout show and earned a spot in Championship competition. The cherry on top? A week later, they received an invitation to march in the 2023 Memorial Day parade in Washington DC.

Introducing: "Saugus Marching Centurions: Road to Washington" Podcast

Saugus High School Marching Centurions: Road to Washington is a limited audio series that follows the Saugus High School band and color guard as they work to overcome adversity and achieve their ultimate goal – marching in the 2023 Memorial Day parade in Washington DC. The podcast can be streamed anywhere you listen to podcasts, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and more.

We caught up with band director Bob Grigas and asked about the inspiration behind tackling a project at this scale. 

"The inspiration for the podcast was twofold: The Marching Centurions band and color guard has experienced so much adversity and resilience over the past few years and we wanted to give them the opportunity to share their story in a way that would inspire others. They were recently invited to represent California in the official Memorial Day Parade in Washington DC and the podcast is one way to get their story out there for the community and beyond to support them on this journey," says Grigas.

So, out of all the mediums, why go with a podcast? To many, it felt like the perfect medium through which to spread the Saugus Marching Centurion story as far as it could go, while also keeping the podcast feeling genuine. An added benefit was the ability to ensure the anonymity of the members involved in its making. "It’s a balance in sharing such personal experience while always keeping their safety and wellbeing as the priority."

From the band boosters, to the marching band and color guard students and parents, it really did take a village to create a high-quality podcast from the ground up. Between recording, editing, publishing, and promoting the podcast, the Marching Centruions relied on as many hands as possible to help in any way they were able. While it may have been a labor of love, listeners will be able to feel that heart come through with each episode. 

Finally: why was now the right time to tell their story? 

"It’s really remarkable how much these kids have endured over the past few years. Wildfires, a school shooting, four band directors in five years, and then COVID, it felt like one thing after another. And then in 2021, we started to feel a positive shift, a light at the end of a long, dark tunnel. Their story isn’t about being #1 and winning all sorts of awards, but highlights that adversity and what it takes to show up again and again, even when you’re feeling defeated; and how that resilience and attitude can change your life. These kids work so hard and give everyone around them such a feeling of hope. I think that’s what listeners will get from this series — a feeling of hope. And I think we could all use a bit of that."

I couldn't agree more.

Interested in finding out more about the story of the Saugus High School Marching Centurions? Take a listen to one of the handful of podcast episodes that are up and available to stream now, including a brand-new episode that just dropped yesterday that features how things are going for the Marching Centurions in the present day!

Support the Marching Centurions

Stream The Road To Washington here

Check out their GoFundMe campaign here

Learn more about the Saugus band program here

Get social and follow their journey on Instagram and YouTube