Marching band prepares to wrap up after a successful season

October 30, 2018 — by Sofia Jones and Connie Liang

The marching band members are grappling to adjust to new changes in their final show as they head to Southern California for their final competition.

Among the changes, the band design team’s decision to add more elaborate visuals, such as leg motions, into the program has proved challenging and even controversial to some members.

This decision came as a result of the band’s second competition on Oct. 20 at NorCal Bands of America, at Diablo Valley College, where the band placed fifth out of 11. This result contrasted with the band’s first competition the weekend prior at the Tournament of Bands at Cupertino High School, where they placed first in their division.

The new leg motions include elongated stretches, lunges and ripple effects, none of which were part of the original drill. The band’s theme this year is “A Dream Within,” a reflection on the changes in thoughts and imagination that people undergo as they age.

Sophomore trombone player Sam Koog thinks the new additions may be counterproductive to the overall production.

“A lot of fancy new gimmicks performed at 60 percent isn’t going to be much better than a show performed at 100 percent,” Koog said. “But I think the new leg motions would work if we had more time and we focus more during rehearsal.”

He finds that the consensus among students is similar in that more focus should be placed on perfecting the show they already have rather than adding more components to it. Initially, it wasn’t definite as to whether or not the leg motions would actually be used in competition, so many members didn’t see the purpose or need of practicing seriously, Koog said.

Drum major junior Alena Jarrett also thinks that the changes added have led to some confusion, and that the addition of many last-minute revisions left some members unsure of what to do during a competition.

“The band seems to be having some trouble grasping all the changes,” Jarrett said. “People have to think about which of the changes made is the final, which can detract from other aspects of the show, like the music.”

Regardless of the concerns, the new choreography seemed to work out on Oct. 27 as the team competed at the Foothill Band Review at Foothill High School. The team placed first in the percussion, woodwind, brass and auxiliary categories, as well as winning the music sweepstakes award. The band also placed second in their class division for the field show.

The band is preparing to wrap up the season with its final competition in Los Angeles from Nov. 2-4 at the SoCal Bands of America, which will feature 20 bands including Lynbrook High School, Ayala High School and others. With such little time left in the season, members are ready to finish the season on a strong note.

“This year, the band is a lot more focused and dedicated than in years past,” Jarrett said. “I’m sure they’ll be able to handle all the changes being thrown at them, and be able to end the season feeling proud of all they’ve done.”

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