State Champions

The RUHS Marching Band and Guard ends their season their season as the California State Band Champions of Division 4A, breaking a Redondo record


Photo by Bill Battin

Last Saturday, November 20th, the band had their last competition, finishing a “great” season, according to freshman Allie Krug.

“Charmed,” their field show, ended up winning first place in the Division 4A finals, also placing fourth at the open class finals that evening. They also broke a Redondo record, earning a score of 92.1 (out of 100), which no Redondo band has done before.

“We really had to focus a hundred times more,” Krug said. “The fact that it was the last competition gave us the extra drive, knowing that if we didn’t do well we wouldn’t get another chance.”

The RUHS Marching Band and Guard has been practicing every day since the beginning of the school year and participated in numerous competitions. “Charmed” earned them first place at competitions such as the Whittier Union High School District (WUHSD) Field Tournament, and awards such as High Auxiliary, High Music, High General Effect and many more.

The hardest part of marching band is “the blood, sweat, and tears of it,” according to Krug. Many days, students stay at the field until 7 or 9 PM practicing, and competition days are even harder—band members sometimes don’t get home until 1 AM, even after leaving early in the morning.

When they first arrive at the competition, the band does “lots of stretching and warming up,” Sarina Krothapalli, freshman trombone player said. These include both physical and instrumental warm-ups. 

“Our director, Mr. V, then conducts us as we play “Creep,” which is a really emotional song for us,” she said. ‘Creep’ is an alumni song that the band always plays before competitions, right before doing a run through of the entire show- in place.

“Everyone’s there,” Krug said. “The percussion, the horn line. It’s pretty amazing.” 

After their pep talk, it’s time to wait to get called for the show, and during this time, the band is not allowed to look at the bands performing ahead of them, so as not to get “distracted,” according to Krug. There’s already enough pressure, having practiced  this since the beginning of the year. 

When it’s their time to go on, the entire band gets four minutes to set up all of percussion’s gear and microphones and get ready to perform the show.

“It’s kind of like a moment where you have to get everything focused and say to yourself ‘This is it. This is where we perform.’ You know, you really have to get into the headspace, a performing mindset,” Krothapalli said. 

Out of the 10 bands performing at Open Class Finals that evening, the RUHS Marching Band and Guard ended up performing last.

“While there was more pressure and more time to get nervous, it was also a great opportunity,” Krug said. “We were the closer, the last thing on the judges’ minds, which motivated us to do even better as we performed. I am so proud to have been in band this year. We gave one heck of a performance.”