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Band excellence marches into concert season

Sousa marches, uniforms and parking-lot practices have given way to concert music, formal dresses and tuxes as the campus band makes the transition from marching to the December concert season.

The band heads into winter coming off a perfect marching season. The band won every parade they competed in, with victories in Caruthers, Visalia, Selma, and Pismo.

“The marching band had a great season,” Paul McEntee, band director, said. “Our goal was to take first in every parade we marched in, and we achieved that goal.”

Band members echo McEntee’s pride in the band’s accomplishments.

“I thought we did a really good job,” drum major Melissa Jimenez, ’05, said. “The band really paid attention and pulled together to work as a team.”

In their final parade, the Pismo Beach Band Review, held Nov. 8, the band overcame unanticipated obstacles in order to finish their season on a high note.

“As we rounded the corner to go past the judges, we were shocked to see that the parade route had been changed,” saxophonist Nick Erickson, ’07, said. “We had to pass the judges while marching around a corner, which is really tough. It was weird, and threw us off a little because it was totally unexpected.”

Despite changes in routine, the band was able to adapt, and captured first place in their division.

“I was really pleased with our performance in Pismo,” McEntee said. “We placed really high overall, beating schools that were more than 10 times our size.”

The band finished up their day in Pismo with a picnic on the beach, before attending the awards ceremony on the pier.

“We were really excited to go to the beach,” flutist Karen Tolladay, ’05, said. “But, as soon as we sat down to eat, it started pouring rain. That was annoying, but we had a lot of fun playing games on the bus instead.”

The band is now changing gears, making the jump from marching to concert performances.

“I like concert season a lot better than marching,” saxophonist Ben Daniels, ’04, said. “Concert music is just so much better and a lot more fun to play than the marches are.”

McEntee anticipates a continuation in the tradition of excellence the band has created.

“We have a young band this year,” McEntee said. “But, once they learn their parts, they are the best-sounding band I have ever had. I think that the group will be improving immensely as the year progresses.”

The band started off their season with the annual Friends of the Band concert Nov. 21.

“I know that all the parents really enjoyed our performance,” Matthew Shattuck, ’07, said. “I personally thought that we could’ve done better, but overall the concert went well.”

The band will next perform in a Christmas concert, along with the all other campus bands and choirs on Dec. 8 at Community Bible Church at 7:00 P.M.

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