The Crimson Express Marching Band is the pride of Murphysboro and its high school. Formed in 1991 by founding director Mark Mikulay, the Crimson Express is a unique and wonderful blend of students, parents, staff and community members, all devoted to the sustained success of the program.
During its short existence, the Crimson Express has performed in local, national, and international contests and festivals, winning countless awards and making it one of the communities most well-known and valuable assets. The marching band has also toured and/or performed in many major cities including Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, Chicago, Toronto, Denver, St. Louis and at Disney World.
The current Crimson Express Marching Band ended its season in October with five first-place wins in its class, making it only the second band in Murphysboro High School history to have an undefeated season. The last competition of the season was the Pinckneyville Marda Gras Band Competition, at which the Crimson Express sealed its undefeated status in class competition and won best percussion, best soloist (Julie Dominguez) and best color guard.
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The city of Murphysboro expressed its pride for the Crimson Express, which is now in its 25 year, by escorting the marching band home from the final competition with police cars and fire trucks.
Leading this year’s winning team was Director Michael Moreland, Jordan Korando (color guard), Carl Alexander (assistant director) and David Brooks (percussion). All staff members are former Murphysboro graduates, and it is Moreland’s eighth year as the high school director and his 22nd year total working with both the high school and middle school bands.
“Hard work is the main ingredient for anything to be successful. Our school board, our administration, our faculty, our booster organization they are so supportive of what we do,” Moreland said. “We are considered a valuable part of the community, and we wouldn’t be able to do any of the things we’re doing without the community, the district and the boosters — they’re just phenomenal.”