West Ranch band marches to first place


Julia Kremenetsky and Claire Chang

  On November 20th, following the start of Thanksgiving Break, the West Ranch Marching Band brought home a big win.

   The championship was held in Riverside and featured numerous schools in the William S. Hart Union School District, as well as multiple other schools from around Southern California. The West Ranch Band earned awards from SCSBOA, Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association, for music, high auxiliary, percussion and color guard.

   West Ranch received Division 4A top scores in music performance, general effect, average general effect and visual performance, tallying up an overall score of 92.39 points, according to the SCSBOA Field Championships Summary of Band Scores.

   With the multitude of obstacles West Ranch band has overcome, like the cancellation of their 2020 band season, lowerclassmen having little marching band experience due to the pandemic, and complications in the transferring of former band director, Mr. Marshall, to the vice principal position at Hart High School, their achievements were a welcoming return for our Wildcats.

   Mr. Leff, in charge of jazz studies and also the interim band director, undertook the later position and was amazed at the dedication from lowerclassmen and mentorship by the seniors. He credits their overall leadership for their success at the championship. “It was rewarding and important to see the hard work culminate into first place and a gold medal,” Leff emphasized. 

   Furthermore, Mr. Leff expressed his pride for the band: “Our band students gave a good combination of excitement, good musicality, and overall showmanship.”

   Sophomore Sabella Habtemariam, a band member at West Ranch, notes, “Being able to win two years in a row was great.”

   Assistant Principal, and previous band parent, Mrs. Moscoe explained how competing against their biggest contender, Hart High School, drove them to take greater risks and ascend to the top. “Hart runs a very clean show but doesn’t take risks [and] doesn’t do terribly exciting formations, and we do those things,” Mrs. Moscoe expressed. “There’s movement in our show, music-wise, Hart is pretty similar, but let’s say that the visual effect is greater at our show.”

   A mere three points short of West Ranch’s score, Hart High School took second place in Division 4A.

   Junior and section leader Saanvi Swain concluded, “We worked hard all season, practicing almost 10 hours a week, not counting competitions and football games. It was great to see that all the time and effort we put in paid off.”