By ELYSIA OUYANG and ZILIN ZHOU
On November 8, the University High School Marching Trojan Regiment (UHSMTR) secured its fourth consecutive win at the Los Altos Competition at La Puente High School, its last tournament of the season, placing first overall, first in Percussion, and third in Auxiliary with respective scores of 79.6, 81.5, and 71.5.
UHSMTR, which competed in division 5A against Downey High School and Baldwin Park High School, has placed first place overall in all four tournaments it competed in this year. UHSMTR’s theme for the 2014 field show season was “Sound Machines: The Music of Radiohead”.
Drum Major Keira Monuki (Sr.) said, “It hasn’t really hit me that band is over yet and I don’t know when it will hit me. Right now all I feel is gratitude towards the band members and directors they really were the reason we were so successful. During his senior speech Timothy Huang (Sr.) said that as seniors we’ve seen the band program grow into something amazing and I think that’s completely true. To witness the growth of the program has been the most amazing and humbling experience of my high school career.”
Assistant drum major Jonathan Myong (Jr.) said, “Mr. Heddon always says that we’re supposed to go beyond the competition, and really, in that spirit, yeah sure we got first place in all our competitions, but everybody just really came together in this last one. Everybody was focused, everybody pulled through and we all held a standard of excellence. That’s really the beauty of it; screw the competition. It’s just us and us performing to our best and I think we managed to achieve that. It’s just nice that our performance at the competitions reflected that.” When asked what this meant for next year, Myong said, “The standard’s certainly been set. Every year the end of the season is sort of a panic because really, the senior class is a huge part of the success of band. Every year it seems like we’re screwed after the seniors leave, and I think it’s just a matter of next year’s seniors to take up the amazing job this year’s seniors have done.”
Trumpetist Kanyes Thaker (So.) also mentioned, “Our victory this season was all because of the effort put in by our instructors and by the individuals in the band. We couldn’t have done what we did without all of the energy and dedication everyone brought to the program, and I’m sure the coming years will bring more success if we keep up the hard work.”
“We poured our hearts and tears into our last performance, and we ended with an undefeated season,” said baritone player Leandro Lebumfacil (Sr.). “You could say more hearts and tears poured out afterwards too.”
Flutist Jinny Hwang (So.) said, “I couldn’t have asked for more—on top of being undefeated, we’ve become so close-knit as a band family and poured so much effort into our show that it’s hard to accept the fact that this is the end… I don’t know how Mr. Heddon is going to top such an amazing show next year, but as per usual, I’m sure he’ll find a way.” Flute player Alice Lee (Fr.) said, “It feels amazing to have such a successful first year. It motivates me to set high standards and work harder next year.”
Percussion placed first with a score of 81.5. Section leader Pranavsai Iddamsetty (Sr.) said, “I would say that this season has probably been the best of the ones I have been a part of. In the end, I think we can call this season a success.” Regarding percussion’s success, Denise Zhou (Sr.) said, “I’ve kind of grown up with the percussion section and being able to see the difference of us from freshman year till now is totally insane. We’re a different group.”
Simon Mun (Sr.) said, “Shout out to all the instructors and parents for making this possible (especially Kyle Traska for writing this amazing show, and Amanda Duncan for leading the pit). I love you pits and battery!”
Auxiliary placed third with a score of 71.5. Co-captain Erika Arasihro (Sr.) said, “There were many changes for our color guard team, such as new instructors, a very large group of freshmen, and completely new weapons and equipment, but we adjusted well and improved greatly. I felt that this past season passed by way too quickly, but I’m very proud of the marching band’s undefeated season.” Co-captain Mai Tran (Sr.) said, “When I first joined guard we had a really small team of twelve people and our choreography was pretty simple, but now we have 23 members and toss ensemble quads and sabers. Guard has definitely changed my life and performing my senior run and writing my senior speech felt pretty surreal but I’m excited to come back and watch the new generation of upper classmen take over.”
The Los Altos Competition marked the last tournament of marching band season for seniors. When asked what she gained from her marching band experience, Auxiliary co-captain Maggie Li (Sr.) said, “You get as much out of an activity as you put in. If you work hard you’ll definitely see the fruits of your labor. And it’s never too late to try something new. I joined my junior year and completely fell in love, so don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone.” She also added that the momentum from marching season would carry on. “Our team has come so far and I’m so proud of how much we’ve matured. Even though marching band is over, there’s still winter guard. You haven’t seen the last of us yet and we’re ready to work even harder for the long road ahead.”
Clarinetist Grace Xu (Sr.) expressed how important band has been during her high school career. “Marching band has been a huge part of my life over the past four years, and I’ve come out of the program a completely different person. I’ve been through thick and thin with the band, and they’ve given me countless memories I’ll never forget.”
Trumpet player Tina Zhou (Sr.) said, “I couldn’t be happier or luckier to conclude my four years by being undefeated throughout the season. It was pretty emotional I guess, but nevertheless more happy than previous years because it’s been a really great season.”
“It was pretty cool to see the band progress and improve over the years, because in the past three years we weren’t always the greatest,” remarked Timothy Huang (Sr.). “It was definitely interesting to see the change this year.”
Denise Zhou (Sr.) said, “I’ve been in the marching band for 4 years and I can honestly say that this year has been the best. The pit has never been stronger and I’m so grateful to have had the privilege to be part of such an amazing group of people. Our instructors have helped us realize our potential and I think everybody knows that we’ve never worked harder. Validation for the time, effort, and focus comes from knowing in your gut that you did it well and you did it together. I owe so much of who I am to this program and I want to thank everyone involved for giving me the opportunity to care so much about this program and these people.”
The past fall season has been a success for UHSMTR, with 2014 being the concluding year for seniors. Auxiliary will continue to perform in winter guard season.