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Band and Color Guard Takes Gold!

On November 18, 2023, the leaders of Band and Colorguard accepted the SCSBOA Division 5A Gold Medal for the first time in history!

The Band and Color Guard students end sweepstakes by making history bringing back gold from the 2023 SCSBOA Field Show Championships – 5A Division at Long Beach City College. 

Band and the Color Guard made history by earning gold for the first time in El Monte High School Union District and here at Arroyo. Their performance-winning field show “Forbidden” earned a score of 92.1, the highest in their division earning gold. For seven weeks, the hard-working band and auxiliary competed, increasing their scores week by week. Students worked incredibly hard as the marching season ended. Band and Color Guard members share their experiences of determination throughout this season. 

“I feel an overwhelming sense of pride about the overall accomplishments the band has made this season. Especially because this ensemble made history. Not only for our school but also on a district level. It is an honor to be a part of this team of incredibly dedicated and hard-working people.” Daniela Sepulveda, 4th Chair Flute in wind ensemble said. 

The band’s hard work did not go unnoticed as they accomplished an outstanding performance marking history. The design for “Forbidden” began in May to August to plan, write, and create. 

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“This year the show was 71 pages of drill, each page of drill is 8-16 counts of movement, and they’re all different and that has to be coordinated, put together, moved, in precision and they have to be able to play their instrument at the same time.” Joe Massaro, Director of Instrumental Music, said. 

Mr. Massaro’s primary responsibility is to ensure that students can play, teach them the proper technique, and get technical facilities to move with their bodies while they play on the field or street parade. There are more aspects to the program, such as Auxiliary and Percussion. 

“The main areas are the visual program, the marching staff that teaches the kids how to move and play, the music staff which is me and the percussion coaches, and then you have the color guard which is a huge part of our visual program, but non-musical visuals, so they’re giving us the really large scale visual support of our performance.” Mr. Massaro said. 

There are many aspects to creating a field show, not only are there the musicians but percussion, auxiliary, and several coaches guiding students to perform accordingly. Color Guard won sweepstakes as well performing alongside the marching band. 

“This band season was unique. We had no stadium to practice, no conductor for the show, and we had really bad lighting [in the] practice area which affected our tosses. However, we tried and pushed our hardest to make this season full of fun and create memories,” Zulani Valencia, Co-Captain of the Color Guard said. 

There is no doubt that the band had gone through hardships such as not being able to rehearse in the stadium due to its reconstruction. Without access to the press box where judges would reside to watch the performances, it was challenging to tell how students were performing during rehearsals. Instead, the Band and Color Guard had to rehearse on the baseball field using a podium only eight feet high for rehearsals. 

“Not having a stadium and not having that visibility challenged us in a lot of ways this year. We constantly had to overcome all those challenges in getting ready for this year but we pushed through and ultimately we were successful. It was a lot more difficult than it needed to be.” Mr. Massaro said. 

Regardless of these difficult changes, Band and Colorguard overcame this obstacle and still swept gold. Despite these challenges, the band has created such lasting memories. 

“The biggest success this season was seeing how much everyone grew, not just from a musical standpoint, but as people. Everyone bonded together on and off the field and we all became one big family.” Lesly Macias, President of Band and Color Guard, and Section Leader said. 

All students have grown beyond their musical abilities creating a bonded family. Arroyo cannot wait to see what the future holds for our talented Band and Color Guard program. To further support our Knights, the marching band program has indoor drumline and winter guard groups, when given the opportunity go and watch their amazing performances! 

“I’ve made some really great memories and friendships with my peers. It also allowed me to make the most of all four years of highschool. Our band program is the best in the district, you learn so much more than just playing notes on an instrument.” Isabella Lozano, Band Quartermaster, and ASB Commissioner.

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