Color Guard and Band to perform at first competition of the season

Color Guard and Marching Band will perform in the California State Band Championships, their first competition of the season, Saturday, Oct. 15 at Newport Harbor High School.

Color Guard began practice early August and Band began practice in June. Since the beginning of the school year, rehearsals have been incorporated every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. They have been working to improve on sound quality, technique and form, and have been focusing on coordination, a necessity when it comes to the performance’s visual aspects.

“[Color Guard and Band have] been cooperative, and we understand each other. Sometimes we would accidentally hit a band member with our equipment and they’re forgiving,” Color Guard member sophomore Tammy Lu said. “I feel like we respect each other very well and put one another first. We’re like friends. They cheer for us and we cheer for them as well.”

Color Guard’s routine is inspired by a Superheroes vs. Villains theme as opposed to last year’s theme of How to Train Your Dragon. Band has adopted a new straight leg technique, which requires its members’ legs to look straight while balancing on the balls of their feet, rather than their previous, more lenient bent leg technique.

“What we’re putting on the field this year is far different from the previous years and I’m curious to hear what our audience has to say,” Band member and drum major senior Karina Chiu said. “I think people always believe that the first competition always sets the tone for the rest of the season, but I don’t think that’s true. No matter what results we get back, we’ll continue to strive to make ourselves better and be the best band Walnut has ever seen.”

Color Guard and Band will compete in the Southern California region of the California Judges Association. At the competition, they will be ranked by a panel of judges based on their technique, sound and execution alongside three other schools.

“I do feel slightly nervous, but I feel confident. I’ve been practicing with the freshmen since July, and I would say that they’re probably one of the most hardworking I’ve seen and one of the most devoted,” Band member and tenor saxophone sophomore Ethan Lee said. “Once they experience [the competition], they’ll be able to understand what marching band is truly like and what we’re striving for as a whole band, as a whole team, as a whole family, and how, from that point, we can move forward and try to improve ourselves.”

By Sarah Aie, Staff writer
Photo by Samuel Compolongo