The MVHS Marching Band is in High Demand

MVHS marching band and color guard have won several competitions this season.

     Following a series of competitions that took place in the fall season, our very own Mission Viejo High School marching band and color guard competed in the 1A/2A/3A Western Band Association Class & Grand Championships on November 19th. They won third place in the competition, as well as winning high percussion and high auxiliary awards.

      In this season’s other competitions, the band has won three high percussion awards, two high auxiliary awards, two first place in visual performance awards, two first place in the 2A division awards, and one third place in the 2A division award, according to an interview with the band director.

     Despite being small for their division, the four-time WBA Grand Champions have managed to carve quite a name for themselves. Due to a couple drop-outs from the team, the MVHS marching band has been competing with 46 members: four less than the minimum number of members in the division’s competing teams.

     According to band director, Mrs. Lee, one of the season’s challenges has been competing in a larger division. “It’s sort of like a David versus Goliath anytime we go out to compete,” she explains. “We practice so much. There’s so many hours to what we do. The standards are just really high, the demand is really high, and we work at this all semester long for a seven or eight-minute show.”

      On top of dealing with a smaller number of members and the many hours of practice, the marching band also has had to learn some very difficult music. In the interview I conducted with her, Mrs. Lee revealed how the goals of the MVHS marching band are more long-term than short-term.

     She says, “I’ve given them musical content and visual content that’s probably just a little too difficult for them. It’s very challenging… Once they get to being in division 4 or 5A rather than 2A, they’re going to face bands that are playing much harder music and we need to start cultivating that demand now. In their division, they are playing music that’s much more difficult than other groups around them. So, it’s been pretty great watching them rise to that occasion.”

     Along with improving their skills for the future, the band is focusing on cultivating better teamwork, work ethic, and musical excellence.

     Lee also maintains that “the characteristics of a successful band come with having high standards and a perception of excellence that’s not demeaning or toxic, but rather uplifting. So, something that we’re working on is finding excellence outside of being overly self-detrimental and instead chasing positive goals and positive things that we’re hoping to integrate into our own playing and habits.”

     Beyond just music, the marching band can teach some real-life skills such as communication, art, cleaning, and other activities involving both teamwork and common sense.

     Overall, the MVHS marching band has worked incredibly hard for their shows, and it is shown in the awards they have received despite being small for their division.

     To show your support for our resilient marching band and color guard, go to their shows! Lee says, “It would be so great to see some support, especially when we have shows… When we’re local, it would be so, so good if we could get some student section folks in the crowd. Especially since we’re practicing for five days a week for several hours at a time. We would love to see everybody there.”

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Jim Marsoobian
Jim Marsoobian
Jim Marsoobian is the editor-in-chief for The Diablo Dispatch. Besides writing, she also loves cats, movies, mysteries, collecting, and listening to music! : )

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