Los Banos High marching band, first in competition at Modesto

November 6, 2009 

The Los Baños High School band attended its first field competition on Oct. 17 held at Johansen High School in Modesto. With a score of 65.05, the team took first place competing against one other school.

Band Director Cliff Brand said competing against only one other school shows how schools are cutting out their music programs.

The marching band and color guard, which has 68 members total, also won a series of other awards and trophies: Best Percussion; Best Auxiliary; Best General Effects; Best Visual and Best Music.

The team has been preparing for this competition since August. The routine they used for this particular competition, featuring music by Jason Mraz, Eric Whitacre, Albert Ginastera and Sting, will be used in all future competitions, as well.

The band also competed in Gilroy on Oct. 31 and came in second place. The band's final score was 71.45. Auxiliary took the Captain Award, as well.

The routine's theme is a demonstration of color, which in four parts illustrates a particular color with contrasting moves, each also following a certain song. The colors used were red, blue, yellow and silver that changed depending on the mood of the music. The moods illustrated were happiness, serenity, anger and passion.

"I've never see them as excited about music before," Brand said about the members' recent performance. "When they found out last spring what we were going to use for the field show, they were very excited to come back and be a part of it."

The band will enter three more competitions this year. Its most upcoming show is on Oct. 31 in Gilroy. The team's championship performance is at the end of November.

"I think if they can continue to improve the show and polish it at this right, we have every chance of coming out on top," Brand said. "We're already toward the top of our class compared to other competitors."

Brand said the band's only limitation at this point to continuing a successful season is money.

"We're working like crazy to fundraise. The department has no money to run on. Everything has to be raised by the students," he said.

Brand said he's proud of how well the band members and color guard did in their first competition and is appreciative of how the community has helped the group get to this point with donations.

The high school band's Drum Major is Josh Montez and Guard Captain is Mireya Perez.

--Samantha Salas

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