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Band preps for superiors at MPAs

By Alisha Durosier, Staff Intern
The members of the marching band step and count in line formation along with the sound of a metronome ticking at a selected rate with their instruments to their mouths, while the color guard members practice with their flags. They do this in preparation for the upcoming Music Performance Assessment (MPA).
The MPAs takes place on Oct. 19. The band’s theme, “It’s dangerous outside don’t go alone, take this,” is based on video games, so the band will play music selections from games such as Kingdom Hearts, Final Fantasy, Halo and The Legend of Zelda.

“We are definitely aiming for all superiors,” band director Gianni Bolanos said.

Last year, the marching band earned excellent ratings in the categories of music and visuals, and the percussion was rated superior. These results are steps up from the years before, showing the growth of the marching band.

The band has been preparing for the MPAs since January, and the drum major, band captain, section leaders and other leaders applied for specific positions and were promoted at the end of the last school year.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize the hard work we put in,” senior drum major and four-year band member Sean Durham said.

The band practices together Monday and Wednesday afternoons from 3:45 to 6:00, and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.. Most rehearsals take place outside on the field or on the senior parking lot.

Because of the physical nature of marching bad, rehearsals include warm-ups and water breaks, like a competitive athletic sport.

“I want our band to always be the best,” band captain Brandon Davis said.

Sectional rehearsals focus more on the music than the visuals. The band is separated into sections of brass, woodwinds, percussion and color guard, all going to their designated places to rehearse.

“I feel there is always a pressure to be good at competitions and that’s why we are practicing,” brass section leader Eric Clayton said.

Sofia Quintero, the leader of the woodwind section said that she wants to give her energy off to the band and motivate those in her section. They know what is expected of them and they are confident in leading their section.

In the color guard section co captains Sharmaine Brown and Shariah Curton are thrilled that the guard is incorporated into the MPA performance.

“We have the will power and we have the support system to be able to do what we want to achieve this year,” Curton said.

Though the color guard is small, they are self assured.
“I want our expectations to be high,” Brown said.

Last year’s good results are inspiring this year’s band to be the first at this school since 2008 to earn all superiors.

“We are trying to make history,” Durham said.

“We have more committed and experienced people this year,” Quintero said,

“I am extremely proud of them,” Clayton said.

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