Correction: In the printed version of this article, we incorrectly quoted Mitchell Rogers (Jr.). The quote has been corrected in this version.
By JENSEN LIM LEONG
The UHS Marching Trojan Regiment and UHS Color Guard are starting the new season with the theme of Romeo and Juliet. Over the next several weeks, they will be performing compositions inspired by the Shakespearean play at UHS home football games. The choice of Romeo and Juliet for the theme comes as a surprise, as past years’ themes have been pulled from highly popular music like Radiohead or mash-ups of popular songs.
“We decided on a show that was a little more artistic,” Mr. Corey Heddon (Visual and Performing Arts Dept.) said. “It brought more depth from a literature standpoint and gave us the opportunity to tell a story.”
Marching band practices excessively to perfect every move of the show, constantly executing repetitions until the music is hardwired into them. Sometimes this can be nerve-wracking when the piece is given a day before the next football game.
“If you don’t watch the drum major and you’re a step off, it’s going to look bad and the whole form can be thrown off,” Joshua Washington (Jr.) said.
Many band members still believe that despite the hard work, it is fun because of their friends.
“The community is very welcoming and you get to have a great time altogether,” Nicholas Vukalovich (Fr.) said. “They’re all supportive and encouraging, and that’s all that really matters.”
Both marching band and color guard members are very focused during their halftime shows and try their best to make everything look effortless, regardless of how hard the performance actually is. Guard members alone require two hours for hair, makeup and other preparations after normal rehearsal, then they continue to warm up for the first two quarters of the game before the halftime performance.
“The most challenging part of color guard is developing the mentality for it,” Lillian Nguyen (Sr.) said. “ You’re rarely ever going to get something on the first try; it requires a lot of perseverance, and not giving up is the key to being successful.”
Marching Band and Color Guard, unlike other team sports, are simultaneously on the field and synchronicity between the two is key. Every single musician is performing together in plain view of the spectators, so mistakes are much more apparent. Guard members dance and twirl their flags and rifles to the blaring notes and rhythms of the Marching Band. This is how both Marching Band and Color Guard are considered a combination of arts and athletics. Being a member of either requires a certain degree of stamina and coordination to fulfill the part.
Once football season ends, Color Guard performs independently from Marching Band in Winter Guard. They perform indoors to pre-recorded music and compete against other color guard teams from other high schools in Southern California. Many Marching Band members are divided among four concert bands, and perform in a number of competitions as well. Last year was the first year the Marching Band made it to the California State Band Finals, placing 6th overall.
“Being able to represent our school on the field in uniform and receiving an award for how much progress we made was really neat,” Mitchell Rogers (Jr.) said.