Courtesy of the Geller Family
By ZILIN ZHOU
On October 25, the University High School Marching Trojan Regiment (UHSMTR) competed in its second tournament at Capistrano Valley High School, placing first overall, second in percussion, and third in color guard. UHSMTR scored a point total of 82.60, securing the first place victory over Mayfair High School by just 0.15 points.
18 total schools participated in the tournament, which divides the competition in different categories based on band size. UHSMTR, which has placed first place overall in both competitions it has participated in this year, competed in division 5A, which included five schools.
Drum Major Keira Monuki (Sr.) said, “It doesn’t really feel real. Our instructors tell us we’re doing a great job before but we’ve never done this well before and it doesn’t feel it’s actually happening. I think these consecutive wins really show the dedication and passion of band members. Even though the wins are great, they don’t really mean as much as the bonds we form at the competitions and our own improvement as a band.” Monuki added that it has been “awhile since we placed first overall two field competitions in a row” and that the band has “never won first place this early in the competition season.”
When asked how it felt to win consecutively, flutist Jinny Hwang (So.) said, “Honestly, I felt that this wasn’t our best performance. It didn’t feel completely right after we finished the show, so I’m happy but also surprised at our win.” Mayfair High School, one of UHSMTR’s rival marching bands, put on an emotional show about 9/11. Hwang added that “even though we didn’t have the heartstring-tugging content that they did, we still won in the end.”
According to Assistant Drum Major Jonathon Myong (Jr.), UHSMTR won “visually”, an indication of the high quality of the band’s marching technique.
Tubist Kevin Qu (Jr.) said, “We are all happy with the amazing results we have received so far.” He also commented that “the tuba section has grown this year to nine people due to awesome members switching over from other instruments, and I can’t thank them enough for their hard work and commitment.”
When asked her favorite moment during the show, trumpet player Tina Zhou (Sr.) said, “During the ballad, in the third part of the show, I heard everyone playing behind me and it sounded so beautiful and smooth and energetic I had to stop and let a few tears roll while marching.”
Baritone player Leandro Lebumfacil (Sr.) said, “It feels good that all the sweat poured and skin tanned resulted in 2 wins. My favorite moment is, as we call it, the ‘Robot Dance Party’. The audience just goes nuts all the time.”
Clarinetist David Li (Jr.) expressed his excitement at two consecutive wins, “I think it’s pretty great that we put in all these hours standing under the sun and practicing hard and actually having the result of your labor come out. Especially for freshmen, it’s great seeing them turn from not being able to walk together to marching like a boss.” Baritone saxophone player Tim Truong (Jr.) also said, “I’m so bari (band joke) incredibly proud of everyone in band. When I’m marching on the field with these amazing people, I can really see how dedicated they are to band. It’s beautiful and really all that matters, but to have two consecutive band wins, that just makes it all the better.”
UHSMTR placed second in percussion. Drumline leader Julius Vo (Sr.) said, “Honestly the percussion section as a whole did amazing, we played to the top of our abilities and gave it our all. As the whole band cheered for first place, it all felt so unreal. I couldn’t be any more proud of my section. I’m lucky to be besides such an amazing section.”
Percussionist player Crystal Yeh (Jr.) said, “After spending hours rehearsing and practicing through good and rough times it is most encouraging to see each individual progress and watch the band grow as a whole. After the consecutive band wins, it proved that we are definitely more than capable of doing what we are doing.”
Auxiliary, or color guard, placed third. Maggie Li (Sr.) said, “I feel like guard has improved considerably and we are continually setting higher standards for ourselves as the season progresses. We’re working harder than ever as there are only two competitions left, and I know that if we stay focused and persevere we are sure to be successful.”
The band hopes to continue its impressive performances and looks forward to becoming even stronger as a group. UHSMTR will compete in the Irvine Invitational Field Tournament on Saturday, November 1.