Marching Band Preview

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Marching band season didn’t start with the first day of school. It began about a month earlier with band camp that ran during the summer. While most of us were lounging on couches or spending time with friends, members of marching band were spending as many as 12 hours practicing in the scorching sun.

Band camp started on July 25 and ran from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. during the first week. During the second week of camp, the students practiced from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Since school has started, the musicians no longer need to attend these all-day sessions. But, they still practice every Tuesday and Thursday night. Sometimes, they must also sacrifice their Saturdays in order to add in some extra practice. During practices, the band members not only refine their playing but also their marching formations and athletic endurance.

However, it’s not as if the band really needs too much extra practice. West Ranch Marching Band has consistently been ranked as a top band in the state for many years.

“Improvement at our level is pretty small. The students are already doing so much right,” said marching band director Jason Marshall. “So, we look for little things to tweak. Little areas to improve the process. Little ways to make the playing better. Little ways to make the marching better.”

Improvement at our level is pretty small. The students are already doing so much right. So, we look for little things to tweak. Little areas to improve the process. Little ways to make the playing better. Little ways to make the marching better.”

— Jason Marshall

Focusing on these small improvements will continue to be critical as the band participates in numerous competitions and performs at home football games. Their first performance will be on Sept. 9, the first home football game of the year. At the half time of this game, the band will perform part of their competitive field show called “Dream Land.”

However, the band’s bigger events don’t start until October. The annual Wildcat Classic is on Oct. 22 at Valencia High School, and the Rampage is on Oct. 29 at College of the Canyons. The Rampage is viewed by band members as the largest event of the year. West Ranch has constantly been earning top scores at this competition, so this year should prove to be no different. Events in November include a performance in Las Vegas on Nov. 5 and championships on Nov. 19.

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This year’s four drum majors are Iland Lih, Brendan Izu, Shane Cho and Christian Delgadillo. They are responsible for leading the entire band by example, or as Marshall describes them, they are “the heart, spirit, soul and leadership of our band.”

“Not only did band teach me valuable skills that will help me into college and my careers, it brought to me a sense of belonging to a family with people that have influenced me in m any ways,” said Cho. “I definitely feel that in the end, it was all worth it; the people I met, the memories we shared, and the experiences I was privileged to be part of were what I would remember later on as what truly shaped my high school years.”

This 103-member family puts in countless hours in order to make the band the best it can be. With this level of commitment, this year should be yet another year filled with success for West Ranch Marching Band.

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