Band plays through the storm

December 2, 2011 — by Cecilia Hollenhorst

Bad weather followed the marching band from Folsom to Chino Hills, as they took on their final two competitions of the season, but bad weather could not stop the 220 students in the group from putting on their best performance.

Bad weather followed the marching band from Folsom to Chino Hills, as they took on their final two competitions of the season, but bad weather could not stop the 220 students in the group from putting on their best performance.

In early October, marching band members worried that they had not made sufficient progress in completing their show compared to years past. However, early competitions led them to success, since fewer large bands attended. By the time of championships in mid November, the band worried about facing larger competition, but their performance exceeded expectations.

During the Marching Band Open Series Championships on Nov. 12 in Chino Hills, an area near Los Angeles, dark clouds marred the sky, and band members feared that violent wind and rain would appear.

In previous competitions, the band’s seven tarps used as decoration on the field blew nearly out-of-control, and concern over them becoming slippery and dangerous meant that they had to be left out of the final championship performance. Luckily, rain subsided before Saratoga took the field.

Despite the presence of several large marching bands Saratoga had never competed against previously, including Vista Murrieta High School and Hart High School, the band earned fifth place out of the 15 bands that qualified after the preliminary round.

“I am so proud,” band director Seth Jones said. “We weren’t sure if the weather would hold up or if finals would be rained out, but the entire day was a huge success.”

On Oct. 5 at Folsom High School near Sacramento, the marching band and Color Guard performed in a windy preliminary competition, then continued on to finals in a downpour of rain. Earning the top award of sweepstakes by placing first in music, general effect, and visual, band members seem to have won their battle against the elements.

“I think the wind during prelims was definitely worse than the rain during finals,” senior Color Guard member Amber Kingery explained, “because the wind was blowing our flags in unexpected directions, but once we started performing, the rain was easier to ignore.”

While the rain forced band members to wear ponchos and shiver in the cold, many found that the multitude of problems caused by wind were far less enjoyable, and some believe that the unpleasant weather helped the band to bond.

“Once our show started, everyone was caught up in the moment and actually had an amazing time,” senior Color Guard member Corinne Zelanis said. “Even though we were cold and wet, our souls were on fire!”

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