Falcon Marching Band on a winning streak

Photos courtesy of Susan Cross Stanley Left, Crescenta Valley High School Falcon Marching Band continues its road to excellence. The band earned its highest score ever for a first competition in a season at Saturday’s Annual Highlander Marching Band Competition. Below, Director Mat Schick leads his band to another win.

With one more competition left in the season, the Crescenta Valley High School Falcon Marching Band has enjoyed an outstanding winning streak. In its first competition this fall, the Band earned its highest score ever for a first competition in a season. And it keeps racking up more “best ever” achievements.

Last Saturday at the 28th Annual Highlander Marching Band Competition, a field show tournament at which 26 bands performed their football half time shows, the band came home with the coveted Sweepstakes Award, presented to the band with the highest overall score of the evening. Competing in the “Open” category, the band also earned the evening’s highest scores for music and visuals, a category in which the color guard’s performance is critically important. In addition, the CVHS Drumline and Drum Major Crystal Huh also took top honors in those categories.

Though the competition was not as prestigious as others the band has competed in – specifically those sponsored and judged by the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) – the band gave the same effort as when matched against the top competitors in Southern California. So, while it may not have faced competition as stiff as it typically does at the SCSBOA events, the achievements were impressive nonetheless.

The previous week, on Saturday, Nov. 6, the band did compete in an SCSBOA event. In the band review (parade) portion of the prestigious 40th Annual Chino Invitational Band Review and Field Tournament, the band won first place in its division. The Chino event draws the top bands from around Southern California, so it is impressive that CVHS bested four other bands in its division (it tied for first with the remaining Class C band), with a score of 89.55 out of 100.

Even more impressive, however, was that the Falcons’ marching score – 195 out of a possible 200 – was the second highest marching score of all the bands at Chino, including those in Classes A and B.

“I’m proud of our marching score,” said CVHS Band director Mat Schick. “One-ninety-five is incredible: a 7-point jump [from the band’s previous highest marching score] is amazing.”

Also amazing to Schick was how the band maintained a “calm confidence [that] allowed us to do well at the performance” despite adverse factors including unusually strong winds, seven missing students who took the SAT that day, and the addition of eight other students from the SAT who took part at the last minute. One of those eight students was the only first trombone player and who “ran into the front rank just as we were stepping off into competition,” according to a relieved Schick.

“Our students have spent many long hours before and after school as well as on weekends preparing for this season and by ending [the field show portion of] it on such a successful note shows the result of hard work and perseverance. It’s been a wonderful season and I’ve seen so many students mature and grow. I’m happy for the seniors because we have 30 who have been in band for all four years and they can graduate knowing that they have elevated the level of band to new heights.”

The band’s final competition of the season will be its first appearance at the highly competitive Arcadia Band Review. It will close out this marching season at the Montrose Christmas Parade, where it has the honor of being the first band in the parade to commemorate high school’s fiftieth anniversary.

More information about the marching band’s performance schedule and links to information about the competitions may be found at the Instrumental Music Department’s website, www.falconmusic.org.

To view the band’s award winning marching at Chino visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2po5JnJk9Gg.

Contributed by Susan Cross Stanley