LA VERNE, California, October 1, 2017 — A month before Halloween, Glenn Davis Stadium on the Bonita High School campus in La Verne, Calif., was a crawling coven of competing witches, bands and color guards from around the Southland, brewing up a feast of musical entertainment that wowed an overflow crowd and earned the best performers a cauldron of awards.
If you were a fan of high school halftime shows (or witches), Bonita was the place to be on Saturday night as 11 high schools took the field every 15 minutes and packed all the sounds, motions, formations, and pageantry into their approximately 10-minute acts that were judged for their musicality and presentation.
The entire pageant, dubbed “Sounds in Motion,” was hosted by the Bonita High Marching Bearcats under the direction of Jeff Bird and the La Verne Band Boosters Association led by President Yvette Call. Other members of the LVBBA board included Cynthia Woods, Lisa Hunkins, Raenell Van Velzer, Shirley Yamada, Isabelle Huber, Gayle Carcia and Amanda Woo.
Competing bands in the order they appeared were Chaffey (1A), Northview (2A), West Covina (2A), Covina (2A), Sunny Hills (3A), Patriot (3A), Barstow (3A), South Hills (4A), San Dimas (4A), Anaheim (5A) and Upland (6A). Bands were categorized based on their size, with 1A being the smallest and 6A the largest.
The Bonita contingent numbered 90 musicians and 17 color guard making it a 3A band.
While Bonita performed, the host school’s score was not considered part of the official competition, per Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) tradition. Every band and color guard that took the field featured a musical theme. Bonita’s was “Coven” Parts I, II, and III, from the “Witching Hour” by Randall Standridge.
Percussion instructors were Scott Director, Justin Carpenter, Nick Quan and Nicholas Montell. Color guard instructors were Christina Dang and Teressa Borrayo. Marching instructors were Anthony Clark and Chad Mirkovich. Drum Majors were Blake Riihimaki and Freddie Sidor-Woods. Color guard captains were Janelle Smith, Natalie Schram and Filza Vaid and percussion captains were Abigail Pak and Mitch Alejandre.
As a whole, the competition showed off not only the bands’ amazing talent, but also their incredible discipline and dedication to their craft. All night long, they glided across the field with a purpose and precision perhaps not always associated with high school students. Considering the little time they were given to take the field and set up (three minutes), their performances were all the more impressive.
As a first-time observer viewing such a musical spectacle and logistical display, I got the feeling that if all these same members were sent to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, the clean-up efforts would be over quickly.
Upland walked away with the biggest awards on the day-night affair, but it was an outstanding show and dazzling display from start to finish for all the participants!
And now a few other photos: