The Californian

Cal places 2nd at Fleet Week

From+left+to+right%2C+percussion+players+John+Ty%2C+Ahmad+Aboutaam%2C+Brandon+Victoriano%2C+Caleb+Giles%2C+Delaney+Lockhart%2C+and+Huey+Chan+are+hard+at+work+during+practice.
From left to right, percussion players John Ty, Ahmad Aboutaam, Brandon Victoriano, Caleb Giles, Delaney Lockhart, and Huey Chan are hard at work during practice.

From left to right, percussion players John Ty, Ahmad Aboutaam, Brandon Victoriano, Caleb Giles, Delaney Lockhart, and Huey Chan are hard at work during practice.

Photo by Juliette Mohr

Photo by Juliette Mohr

From left to right, percussion players John Ty, Ahmad Aboutaam, Brandon Victoriano, Caleb Giles, Delaney Lockhart, and Huey Chan are hard at work during practice.

Ilene Morrisette, A&E Editor

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Cal High’s marching band and color guard have taken on a whole new competition.

On Oct. 9, the teams were invited to the annual Fleet Week, which is essentially a “battle of the bands,” said marching band director Kent Johnson. 

From the 50 marching bands that applied to perform at Fleet Week, only eight were chosen to compete in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park Music Concourse.

Cal was one of the lucky few. 

“I really enjoyed Fleet Week, it was interesting because we don’t see the bands that are not in our circuit,” said freshman Sanjana Chauhan, a member of the color guard team. “I feel like we’re doing really well, because our show is a lot harder than it has been.” 

Despite it being their first year competing at Fleet
Week, Cal’s 140 student marching band placed second in the competition.

“I think we did pretty good placing second,” freshman alto saxophone player Kayla Kaneshiro said. “I think it’s pretty impressive.” 

This win resulted in the program being rewarded with $6,000. Johnson is planning on using the prize money to pay for their show, as well as new uniforms.

Fleet Week marked just one of many outstanding performances by the marching band and color guard squads this year.

The marching band and color guard won their first competition of the season at Del Mar  and placed third in their second competition in San Francisco. 

The teams maintain their winning streak with lots of practice. 

“You have to be committed,” said junior Frances Talino, a member of the color guard.

Marching band practices 20-30 hours a week, while color guard practices weekly for 16-20 hours.

Junior piccolo player Briana Beranstain said practice is fun, even though the really long and hot days can get intense. Despite these complaints, students say it’s worth it.

 “If they want to win, they’ll practice,” said Johnson. 

Aside from the hard work and long hours, marching band and color guard still have time for fun. 

“I’m having a lot of fun ‘cause it’s a good season,” said Chauhan.

Although Cal faces numerous marching bands and color guard teams during the year, Johnson said the school does not have one specific rival because their competition depends on the show. Johnson sites their biggest competition this year as Cupertino and Milpitas high schools. 

Due to the new show, marching band and color guard are expected to do well moving forward. 

“I think [we are] looking good,” Kaneshiro said. “The show is pretty promising,”

The show’s ever increasing size is also expected to grow their competitive edge.

“Our show just keeps growing,” said Talino.  

Johnson has hope for the future and believes Cal can continue to grow as a team, learn from mistakes, and stay committed throughout the season.   

Ultimately, marching band’s competition season depends on the students. 

“I hope they do well. It depends on their commitment level,” Johnson said. “They have a lot of energy, Their skills can always improve.”

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Cal places 2nd at Fleet Week