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Band wins multiple awards at Pismo Band Review

Under the direction of new band director, Chris Rice, the marching band placed first in Division C at the 28th annual Pismo Beach Band Review on Nov 11.

While the 22-member marching band won its division, senior Hannah Wilhelm won the Drum Major Military category with 86 points. She narrowly beat the drum major from San Luis Obispo, (Division A band), by one point.

“I placed first overall and that was the best I have ever done at Pismo,” Wilhelm said. “I am really proud of the band and how we performed.”

The band scored 84 points beating second place Tranquillity by six points. Solo majorette Jessica Massie, ?11, scored 88 points to win her competition; she beat the second place solo majorette from San Luis Obispo by four points.

“I was really surprised that I got first place because I was competing against high schoolers and I am an eighth grader,” Massie said. “My routine went really well even though I fell.”

Rice set a new standard when he introduced Tuesday night practices from 5-8 P. M. He said the practices would give the band a chance to perfect the field show and parade.

“I think we performed at a higher level than the last performance,” Rice said. “I think that the level of commitment and the want to compete has risen. The trip gave us a chance to come together as a band.”

The color guard placed second overall with 80 points in the flag competition. Kingsburg (Division B) won the competition (84 points) while Roosevelt (Division A) finished third with 78 points. The color guard, drum major and majorette beat schools with up to 150 members.

Despite a three-member team, the color guard won competitions against guards the size of the entire band. Senior Catie Walker, who has competed since eighth grade, contributes the success to Rice.

“If Mr. Rice wasn’t the band director, we wouldn’t be as successful as we are now,” Walker said. “We continue to enjoy a band director who cares about the color guard and spends time working with us.”

Students also felt that the overnight trip was a good opportunity for bonding. They realized an effective support system is more beneficial than a larger band.

“Even though our band is small, our commitment gives us drive to beat bands much larger than us,” Alexandra Aleman, ’10, said.

While the band competed on Saturday in the review, Friday was a day of relaxation.

“I think the band did the best we?ve done this marching season,” Megan Joy, ’07, said. “Although I have to say that Friday night was my favorite part of the trip because I got to hang out with my friends in San Luis Obispo.”

The band also enjoyed an evening of dining at Mclintocks in Pismo Beach. Rice treated the band to dinner to show his appreciation for their hard work.

“I wanted to repay them for their commitment and energy, in food and a night of fun,? Rice said. “I got to show them a more fun and relaxed side of me.”

On Nov. 18 the band will compete in Fairfield Tournament of Champions, (46.9 miles north of San Francisco) which involves parade, field show and jazz competition.

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