Stepping Up

Members of the SPHS Marching Band and Color Guard after capturing sixth place in last weekend’s competition in Chino Hills. Photo by Aimee Yokomizo

It was a battle of the bands on Oct. 12, as the South Pasadena High School Marching Band and Color Guard took its talents to the Ayala Music in Motion Tournament — earning sixth place in the 3A division with a score of 70.800 and beating its score of 69.35 from the previous year.

“It was the first competition for many schools, as it was the largest competition through the first two weeks of the season,” said Jason Liu, a sophomore at SPHS who plays the snare drum in the band.

“There’s so much preparation leading up to the contest, including Monday and Wednesday night rehearsals, multiple Saturday night practices, summer band camp, every single home varsity football game and away games.”

The competition was held at Ayala High School in Chino Hills, where 26 high-school bands participated, including neighboring schools such as San Marino High School and La Cañada High School.

“I really enjoy the time everyone in the band gets together at competitions,” said Liu. “I think it’s truly amazing to see how all this time spent together pays off at competitions, with everyone motivating each other and then celebrating together afterwards.”

Each band performed its field show for a panel of eight judges and an audience. Scoring is out of 100 and is divided into five main categories: General Effect, Music, Visual, Percussion and Auxiliary (Color Guard).

“But once the next week rolls around, it’s back to work because we can’t be content with the score we currently have with four more competitions left and then championships,” said Liu.

“With multiple new additions to the instructional staff this year, including several who are SPHS alumni, the Tigers Marching Band and Color Guard is looking forward to a successful season.”