Marching Band performs on field during the halftime show alongside Color Guard

Friday night lights return with Blue Thunder Band, Cheer Team, and Color guard

Blue Thunder Band, Cheer Team and Color Guard performed at the Friday Night Lights football home game Friday, Sept. 10 at the Ken Gunn Stadium. 

The game, in which Walnut won 31-3 against Rowland High School, featured routines by each of the groups during its halftime show. Marching band played “The Greatest Showman” as its annual showpiece and also played “Sweet Caroline,” “Runaway Baby,” “Feel it Still,” “Sons of Westwood” and “The Star-Spangled Banner” throughout various points during the game. Marching band started learning and practicing the songs before the school year began.

“I learned the amount of dedication it takes to be in marching band because it was my first time performing,” clarinet player sophomore Abigail Aggarao said. “Practicing after school in the heat for 7-10 hours per week was rewarding because it was a cool experience playing for other parents and students who got to watch it.” 

Cheer team performed sporadically throughout the night, complimenting marching band’s song performances with its own stunts and dance routines. Additionally, they performed chants like the Mustang spell-out to increase spirit among the crowd. 

“We try to represent the school in a nice, welcoming way, so there is a lot of pressure not to mess up,” varsity Pep member junior Jhenna Sebastian said. “If we mess up, we move on from it; each of our members’ personalities complement each other. This helps us during performances because we’re really in sync that way.”

Group dynamic was also key to Color Guard’s halftime performance, a mix of traditional flag tosses and dance routines paired with marching band’s music. With the pandemic-induced hiatus on performances, the team relied on its coaches and veteran members to teach moves to newer members. 

“We’re pretty understanding and welcoming, especially with new members; we try to be open so they come to us for help if they need it. [The game] felt nostalgic since it reminded me of my rookie years, but ​​I feel like our bond is a lot closer this year because we had to help each other out more,” Color Guard member senior Emily Hsu said. “We were all nervous and excited, but the nervousness gave us adrenaline and enough energy to perform full out and go all the way through because it’s really tiring running around.”

Emily Cap, Opinion editor
Photo by Mia Nam