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Band captures fourth in Santa Cruz

As sunrays glinted off brass instruments, big band sounds filled the street at the festive Santa Cruz Band Review on Oct. 20. Led by upper classmen Jonathan Shattuck, ’02, and John Myers, ’02, along with drum major David Pohl, ’03, the Eagle marching band finished fourth.

“This year’s Eagle band is farther along,” Paul McEntee, band director, said, “than any previous band at Fresno Christian. They are only limited by what they choose to do or not to do.”

The Santa Cruz band trip was in part a success because they were competitive against 45 other schools.

Myers is the lead clarinet player for his second year in a row and has been involved in band since fifth grade.

“The concerts are fantastic,” Myers said. “The marching isn’t the greatest thing but I enjoy leading the clarinets and doing my part to help the band.”

The Caruthers Parade was the first of the year for the Eagle marching band and was attended by many of the Caruthers fair-goers. The Sept. 29 festival parade pitted the band against many Valley schools. FC was bested only by Hanford West, a high school five times its size. The Caruthers Parade was the first of the year for the marching band.

The band’s next competition is the Selma Band Review on Oct. 27. While the band is almost entirely composed of juniors and freshmen, there are only four seniors in the band this year. Shattuck has high hopes for success even without senior leadership.

“My goals are that we put forth our best effort,” Shattuck said. “Our player to sound ratio continues to improve, and we can finish in the top ten in every parade. Our fourth place finish in Santa Cruz was no surprise.”

The lead trumpet player this year, Shattuck has been playing trumpet since fifth grade when he joined the FCS maroon band.

Before concert season starts on Nov. 12 the band has two parades left: Selma and Pismo Beach on Nov. 10. However, the last parade of the year will not be until Nov. 29 at the Clovis Christmas Parade.

As the drum major, Pohl, is responsible for keeping the tempo with the mace- a colored fiberglass rod he carries. He also has to salute the judges, toss and catch the mace and introduce the band with an opening act.

“Concert season is by far the best,” Pohl said, “because it has less to do with the way you look and more with the way you sound. Plus, then I don’t have 6,000 people watching just me in the beginning.”

As part of their concert season, the band takes a trip every spring down to L.A. to compete in the Biola Mass Band Festival and Concert. The Festival takes place during the day and then all the bands come together at night to perform in one concert.

“It’s really loud and noisy,” Pohl said, “and sometimes the music needs work but everybody seems to enjoy it.”

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