It is approximately 9:00 p.m. on the west coast. My review is coming along very well. I am not finished yet. I have eight bands left to write about, plus a summary of the show. I will not go to bed tonight until this is finished. I hope to finish it between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. at this point. Until then, here is a "preview" to keep you busy:
Torrance High School
Program: "A Day in the Life of a Marching Band"
Comments: Ha ha! I love it. When the announcer asks if the band is ready, one of the wind players cries, "Wait! Wait!" After this he fixes the posture of another member. Too cool. I am glad I had a newspaper with me in my bag, because it started to rain! The first movement from this unit was great. They stand still with legs spread, and blend, blend, blend that sound. The band gets "re-energized" after a water break from a couple of coolers up front. This band is showing some superb presence, despite the fact the weather was taking a turn for the worst. Yes...they nailed that triangle form, and the music that went along with it. Alright. I am writing on water right now. I must stop. Outstanding performance.
Pacifica High School
Garden Grove, CA
Program: "Pandora's Box"
Comments: Four auxiliary members are holding white feathered boas on four corners of a box. The maneuvering of the tight box of members that slowly disentigrates convinced me. The first few phrases from this group did not convince me enough, though. Perhaps the balance was awry. Way to back up the brass, synth! The sound just rails the stands. Trumpets...maybe hold back just a tad bit, somehow. I like how you cut through to us with your song, though. The auxiliary member popping out of the box seemed slightly off balance, but perhaps I perceived this wrong. Oh yeah, percussion! Talk about total control in regards to drumming. Ooh, the trumpets sound like they are struggling a bit near the end. I like the criss-cross drill that has one set of winds jazz running, while another set march common, and then one set of winds twist around and lock...lock to form a block. This is a great show, with lots of twists, but no matter what they do they have to tighten the screws on that sound.
Clovis East High School
Program: "The Four Elements - Fire, Earth, Wind and Water"
Comments: I like how the auxiliary are situated within the cavities of the band, and then come alive with the sounds of the low brass. The seemingly everlasting rotations on the right side of the field with the brass looks fine. The tuba solo is great, but the brass response is somewhat off. This band knows how to party hard in terms of music. Great freeze of the body, color guard, at the end of that. The melodies this group brings forth are clean...and easy to listen to. The drumline slaps their drums in unison to start "their" show. (Great ducking move by the band during that.) Rifle toss by the guard when the wind players are in swooping arc forms needs to be there. (There was a drop.) Excellent way to end the show, with two tight blocks and the curved forms behind. The end was not as momentous as it could have been. I almost thought they would play another tune, but the drum major turned around and gave a salute, so that is that.
(MORE TO COME!)
Fountain Valley High School Marching Band 1993-1996
Pacific Crest of Diamond Bar 1997
Nashua Spartans 1998-1999
UCSB Class of 2002