Band gains big win in Clovis competition

November 13, 2009 — by Vivien Lu and Ashley Tang

For the first time, the marching band placed first in every category in the Western Band Association competition, including general effects and Color Guard.

On Oct. 24, the band traveled two and a half hours to Clovis High School to compete against 27 other schools in Division 5A. Bands here consist of 160 students or more, though most schools in this division have at least 2,000 total students vs. Saratoga’s 1,350. This made the Falcons an underdog against the bigger schools and made winning “all the better,” according to music director Michael Boitz.

It was also interesting for students to travel to Clovis High School, a community right outside of Fresno.

“I did not know what to expect. The large campus with all those schools really intimidated me,” said freshman clarinetist Melodie Bellegarda. “I did not know we would do so well. I was so surprised that we won first in everything.”

The students ended up spending more time on the road than on the field. The bus ride totaled five hours, leaving students with a lot of time on their hands.

“We were really productive, and it was still really exciting,” sophomore trumpeter Brian Leung said. “After we finished our homework, we joked around with each other. The whole bus was loud and we sang along with our iPods. Even on the way back, when everyone was so tired, our spirits were so high because we won.”

However, the trip took a toll on the students, who arrived home well after midnight.

“It was exhilarating realizing how well we performed, but once we got back on the bus, we were all exhausted and fell asleep right away,” said junior Nina Mohanty, a member of Color Guard.

Both music directors praised the band’s efforts.

“I’m really proud and thrilled,” said Boitz. “The WBA was the big monster competition, so we were all really nervous. The best part is that once the kids walked off the field, everyone knew it was a really good performance. I was so happy at that moment. The award ceremony was just icing on the cake afterward.”

1 view this week