Marching Band increases size

September 10, 2008 — by Elizabeth Cheng and Kirstie Lee

It is Thursday night and the piercing beats of the metronome cut through the evening air. School has started and so has marching band.

The band season actually began two weeks before school even started, with nearly daily 11-hour rehearsals at school each day. With rigorous music and marching practices, the band has started the year on a good foot. The biggest difference this year is the size of the band, which currently counts 220 students.

“I’m really nervous because the group is so large,” said band director Michael Boitz “There were 71 kids in the first [marching] band I taught at Saratoga High. As the program gets bigger it doesn’t necessarily get better.”

Despite the large number, Boitz and co-director John Zarco see a lot of potential.

“The goals or objectives are always [to] be the best Saratoga we can be,” said Boitz. “Secretly it’d be nice if we could finish in the top five or top six in championships since we’ve never done that before, but setting that kind of goal in this genre is hard because it all comes down to the fundamental aspects of the band.”

Because of this, he and Zarco have decided to concentrate on building the group’s musical and marching fundamentals.

“We have this new warm-up routine that is more systematic but there’s a long-term goal,” said Boitz. “What we’re really going for is to make some heavy-hitting overall conceptual improvements to the sound of the group.”

So what can one expect of this year’s show, entitled “Mirror Images”?

“We’re doing some things we haven’t done with the program before because that’s just where it goes. In terms of the show this year, we’re using props [like large PVC frames meant to be like mirror frames] this year,” said Boitz. “There’s 10 of those we’re going to use on field. And we’re using wireless mics.”

The band performed the first half of their first movement for parents and friends on Aug. 23 at the annual informance to kick off the new season. Their next performance is on Friday, Sept. 26 at the football game against Westmont High School.