World of Pageantry

Richard "Rick" Marino
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Author:  fieldshowqueen [ Tue Dec 09, 2014 8:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Richard "Rick" Marino

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that Loara's iconic band director Richard Marino has passed away. He was in hospice care for the past few months, and his family wished that his illness be kept private. Mr. Marino was just as adamant about people not making a "to do" about him ... he felt no one would remember who he was. Over the past few months, the Loara Alumni Association collected various cards, letters, photography, videos and remembrances which were posted to social media or sent to him directly or his family. Here is their response to his passing this morning:

R.I.P. Richard Marino
June 7, 1927 - December 9, 2014
Mr. Marino passed away at 7:30 am. on the morning of December 9, 2014. He was at home with family and had a peaceful end.
The family would like to thank everyone who sent cards and letters to Mr. Marino. He really enjoyed them and they were the catalyst for some great memories and conversations in his final days. They really meant a lot.
Mr. Marino really did not want any kind of service or flowers, etc. He suggested the Loara Band Boosters Club as a place to send any remembrance.
The Marino Family

From the "History of Loara" by Doug Hunt:
During the first year of the school, Richard Marino established the Saxon Band for 35 members. He had, in addition, an orchestra of 15 members. By the second year, he had 116 musicians in new uniforms of black and white with 14 inch white shakos. The first drum majorette was Margery Jo Black. The first big win for the Marching Saxons was in the Santa Ana Christmas parade with three trophies: first in their division, sweepstakes for the best band in the entire parade, and first place for Rick Hodge, the military drum major. Between January and April, Marino converted his marchers into a concert band. For 1966-67, Loara Band was named "Show Band of the Western States." Then the fall of 1968, Hall Hurwitz led the group to Sweepstakes in the All-Western Band Review, the State Championship, where competition was with 70 bands. That video can be seen on YouTube and is considered one of the most (admittedly arguable) perfect high school street performances.
George Beyer, newly graduated from California State University at Fullerton, was hired to assist Marino in 1973. Loara's band had the largest number of musicians in the District. The 1972-73 group had numbered 320 (240 band, 64 drill team, and 16 banners.)
The long list of impressive wins for the Saxon Band was highlighted with the prestigious honors of 1977-78: Sweepstakes at All-Western Band Review, Arcadia Review, Santa Monica Review, Tournament of Champions at Chaffey, La Mesa Western States Tournament of Champions.
Many fine musicians from Loara have made successful careers in music. Karen Tkaezyk was named the most outstanding trumpet player in Southern California, and Dana Sundene was named top oboe player in Southern California honor groups. Numerous musicians are in the professional field, while some are band directors in Southern California: Gary Eakens, Gary Hoffman, and Mark Lower, in addition to Ron Wakefield, Mike Pergola (deceased), and Kent Hannibal. (I know I am missing many others and my apologies in advance there.)
Two groups of girls on campus add much color and spirit to the band. They're the Valkyrie Drill Team and the Courtiers, flag and banner girls. Elaine Hess started the drill team in the fall of 1963 with 40 girls, who gave their first performance at the Anaheim Halloween Parade. By spring 1964, the girls presented the first in the long series of "Spring Shos." Jean Tomarelli organized the Courtiers in 1970 to march with the drill team and band as pageantry escorts.

From a personal fieldshowqueen perspective:
I played clarinet and sax (following my father's example who was a member of the RhythmAirs in the early 1950's) for Ball Jr. High under the direction of Mr. Pritchard, and I spent only one short semester in my 10th grade year on the field at Loara, and sadly left due to a severely torn ankle tendon. Despite only 20 weeks with the band during the summer and fall of 1972, the lessons taught by Mr. Marino are still engrained in my psyche: Don't do unless you do well. Go hard or go home. Winning is not the optimal solution; doing better than you did previously is the only reason we are here.

Rick was the VP of parade adjudication for SCSBOA for many years ... and my respect for him is never-ending, and as is that of those who were ever taught by him (which is literally thousands ... doing the math: 50 years of about 600 or so equals 30,000 people who have graduated from Loara, and about 12 to 15,000 of those were under Mr. Marino's tutelage. Loara had 200 band members plus 60 drill/flag team each year, so ... about 4,000 people were affected by him, not including their parents and the rest of the school).

I know people on WoP will understand it when I say, "Band" wasn't just something to do ... it was a way of life that many of us chose to follow, and we still do so. Loara Saxons will understand when I say "... may his memory always linger" ... it is a line from our Alma Mater* (which I can STILL play on my clarinet) that we take to heart each time we recite it at our games and pep rallies.

Godspeed Mr. Marino ... Once a Saxon, always a Saxon. And thank you for the lessons you've taught us about music and living life well balanced and to the fullest.

*Loara Alma Mater:
Hail Loara! School we cherish,
Built by Saxons loyal and true,
She provides a firm foundation,
which will last our whole life through.

May her memories always linger,
may traditions live long too,
red and gold will fly forever,
Loara we honor you.

Hail Loara! School we cherish,
built by Saxons loyal and true,
She provides a firm foundation,
which will last our whole life through.

(words by Molly Wampler;
musical composition by James Ployhar d. 2007)

Author:  Ryan H. Turner [ Tue Dec 09, 2014 10:56 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Richard "Rick" Marino

Great tribute and great information!!

Author:  JLGORMAN [ Wed Dec 10, 2014 8:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Richard "Rick" Marino

Sad to see another one of the giants of Southern CA Bands has passed away. Rick Marino was my Junior High Director at Brookhurst Junior High in Anaheim prior to his going to Loara. The stories one can tell about Rick Marino are legend. One of my favorites is something that came about between Rick and My Father.

Rick Marino really was not a big fan of Lawrence Welks music and sort of made it known he did not like the Champagne Music Makers Style of Music. Being a typical teenager, my father who had played a pretty decent trumpet in HS and College, loved the Welk Band. I constantly bugged him about how my Band Director thought the Welk Band was not that good. After the final concert of my 9th Grade year at the Reception for the Band and Parents, my father was talking to Rick Marino and mentioned that he thought it took a lot of "Guts" for a Junior High Director to critique a Famous Band leaders Band. Mind that this conversation took place in May 1962. My father mentioned that if Rick had a State Champion Quality Band, my father might listen to what Rick was saying.
Fast forward to Nov 1968 and Loara wins the All Western Band Review. The sunday evening after the contest, my father received a phone call from Rick Marino informing him that Loara had won All Western. Rick Marino told my father that back in 1962 my father had advised him that when he had a state Championship Band he could critique Lawrence Welk. His comment to my Father was "My Band won the State Championship and I still think Lawrence Welk's music is corny" . I never forgot that incident. And you know that for many years after I left Brookhurst Junior High School I would run into Rick Marino and he always remembered me by name. He had a knack for that. It is sad to lose another of the Giants of the Southern CA Band Scene.

Author:  Hostrauser [ Wed Dec 10, 2014 11:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Richard "Rick" Marino

Loara H.S., 1969 - "The Purple Carnival" by Harry Alford

Author:  Ryan H. Turner [ Wed Dec 10, 2014 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Richard "Rick" Marino

Great story above....i used to go to church with one of Welk's trumpet players.

Author:  fieldshowqueen [ Wed Dec 10, 2014 10:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Richard "Rick" Marino

Hostrauser wrote:
Loara H.S., 1969 - "The Purple Carnival" by Harry Alford

When I was in Loara's band (Fall of 72), we were always challenged by Mr. Marino to "do better than '69."
Speaking of Lawrence Welk ... when I told Mr. Marino that my father played for a big band, Rick asked "Did he play in the Lawrence Welk band?" When I told him "no," he said to tell my father that he had made the right decision. LOL! (I still have my father's clarinet and sax which I used during my band days at Loara.)
Simply said ... Mr. Marino was one of the more awesome people to have graced planet Earth and I'm very proud to have been a part of the Loara band family.

Author:  fieldshowqueen [ Thu Dec 11, 2014 5:52 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Richard "Rick" Marino

... another "oh" moment: I had forgotten about what happened after that 1968/69 All Western sweepstakes win.

Author:  SoCalBandFreq [ Thu Jan 01, 2015 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Richard "Rick" Marino

and of course the


Author:  fieldshowqueen [ Thu Jan 01, 2015 10:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Richard "Rick" Marino

SoCalBandFreq wrote:
and of course the

Speaking of that: Rick led the 50th Anniversary of Loara band last year. In honor of him, almost all band members wore red socks:

Author:  JLGORMAN [ Fri Jan 02, 2015 3:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Richard "Rick" Marino

Thinking Back on The Red Socks, they were sort of a different approach to things that Rick Marino did.

In May 1973, Loara competed in the Western States Music Tournament in La Mesa, CA. Their biggest competition was against Monahans and Burgess HS from TX and Grossmont and Colton HS from CA. I was writing a article for the Magazine Ruffles and Flourishes based in PA(I was stationed in Washington DC at the time) and they asked if I would write an article about this event.

The contest was divided into concert and Sight reading on Friday and Parade Marching Saturday Morning and Field Show that Evening. For the concert part of the program Loara Choose to use their 45 member Wind Ensemble. In contrast both Texas Bands used over 100 member Symphonic Winds in the contest. Needless to say Loara sound small and tinny in comparison to the large Sound of the Texas Bands. After the concert and Sight Reading Loara was behind, Monahans, Burgess, Grossmont and Western Heights from OK City. So much for small tight Bands

The next day the Parade Marching took place at 9:30 AM and Loara had drawn last(have you heard about that happening before). Since I was at the drawing on Friday night, I can tell you it was pure luck.
Having a late dinner with two now gone SC Directors, both of them told me that Loara would probably march their 77 piece Parade Band that had won the Maytime Band Review two weeks before. I countered that since the Judges were all University Band Directors, it would seem to be appropriate to use their full 332 member Band for the Parade event. The Directors laughed at me.

The next morning while the contest was going on, you could see from quite a distance the large Banners of Loara coming around the shopping center. In front of them from a distance you could see Rick Marino in Full Dress with RED SOCKS bringing them into the area. Needless to say they were marching 332 members. Their performance of Grandioso that Day was as mentioned by the Late Dr. William Foster, Director of the FAMU Bands, the Best he had heard from a Non Texas Band. Out of a total of 750 points in Parade, they got 735.lThe next closest Band was Colton, with a score of 705. That day at lunch I asked the Judges what made Loara get such a high score. They said "That Band knows what it is doing on the Street"

That night at the field show contest I was sitting in the Judges Boxes atop Aztec Stadium and as part of Loara's show they Did a Precision Drill to March Grandioso, stopping in Mid March and then resuming the drill. For those of you who have ever watched the Show Band of the Southwest from the University of TX, this is always part of their drill. The three judges all remarked it looked Like Vince DiNino and the Longhorn Band doing their drill.

That night after the awards were given out I was walking to my rental car to leave and two of the Judges asked if I could give them a ride home. They also asked if we could stop and get something to eat. Needless to say at the Restaurant, the two directors I knew well and liked, were making comments on the fact that Loara had finished third behind Burgess and Monahans and most of the comments were about Loara stopping during the middle of the drill. They called the idea Stupid and a "Typical Loara Trick". Dr. Foster heard this and went over and introduced himself to them. He pointedly stated "That Loara doing the stop and start in their show, probably saved them from being 4th in the contest due to their weak concert performance. He also let them know that they should watch the Show Band of the Southwest who in his opinion did not have any problems with starting and stopping during their drill. Dr. Foster also thought it was great that Rick Marino was confident enough to wear Red Socks with White Tie and Tails. As Dr. Foster told me when I dropped him off, you folks are too up tight about doing Band a Certain Way. By the way Dr. Foster advised he always wore Orange Socks, the Colors of FAMU during their marching season. So Rick Marino had some illustrious individuals who went before him wearing Bright Colored Socks.

Author:  Timbob [ Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Richard "Rick" Marino

Rick Marino obviously had a great positive effect on all the students, parents, and peers that he worked with. He even had a great effect on people he never I was in the Glendora High Tartan Band from 1968-1970. Gordon Norman was our director, and the Loara Band was one of our greatest competitors. I remember my very first street competition in 1968. Rosemead Band Review. When the awards were given, we won Sweepstakes! I didn't really understand what that meant. There was a tie for Sweepstakes, though. Guess who? Loara! I asked, "Who is Loara?" Well, it didn't take long to find out! Since I was in the band performing, I didn't get to experience Loara on the street until I had graduated, but I heard recordings of them. Now THAT was the way I thought a band should sound! I wanted to be in that band ! Then came the shows! Kings and Queens and Joan of Arc, courtiers, Can-Can, Light Cavalry Overture, St. George and the Dragon, Showboat,1812 Overture, Elsas Procession to the Cathedral...and the Valkyries battling it out.....amazing! Rick Marino was an original with concepts and ideas on a grand scale. I will never forget him or his red socks, or hearing him yelling things to the courtiers just before competition at the All-Western.

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