The San Marcos High School Marching Band and Color Guard has won the musical equivalent of a state championship. San Marcos High School was named the SCSBOA 2010 Division 1A Field Champion at the Field Championships held Saturday, December 4 in Downey, California. In winning the championship, the Royals also took first place for overall music, visual performance, and general effect, of which the award winning Color Guard had a very important part of the high scores. San Marcos also took top honors for their percussion section.
The Royals’ Marching Band and Color Guard will show their appreciation to the Santa Barbara community with a free performance of their championship field show at Valley Stadium on San Marcos’ campus on Tuesday at 7:00pm. The entire Santa Barbara, Goleta, and surrounding communities are invited to see the show and afterwards attend a dessert reception in the San Marcos cafeteria.
Each year, Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) judges over 60 competitive field tournaments and over 40 competitive band reviews throughout southern California. Each December, the SCSBOA Field Championships feature performances by the 12 highest scoring marching bands in each of six divisions from throughout the fall season. Of the three Santa Barbara schools, San Marcos was the only one who qualified to compete in the Field Championships, ultimately winning first place.
The San Marcos Marching Band is directed by Michael Kiyoi, who is an alumnus of San Marcos and former band member. He was extremely gratified to win the championship in his first year as the band director at his alma mater.
“These students have devoted a tremendous amount of time, given everything we have asked of them, and earned the high honors they have won,” remarked director Kiyoi. He continued, “the success of the program is centered solely around the students and they not only work extremely hard but create an experience that fosters discipline, fun and teamwork. I could not be more proud of this program and look forward to continuing strong music education at San Marcos.
San Marcos Marching Band and Color Guard has a tradition of important competition victories. The Royals won the Division 2A championship in 2007, the Division 1A championship in 2008, and took second place in 2009, less than one point behind the first place band. The seniors in the San Marcos Marching Band have had tremendous success all four years of their high school career.
The Royals’ 2010 field show is in entitled “Stained Glass” and features the original music of Lozell Henderson, an assistant band director for San Marcos. “Lozell is truly a musical genius,” stated Kiyoi. “His original music, designed specifically for our field show and our students, is one of the reasons we do so well in competition.”
Senior trumpet soloist, Diane McCollum observed, “Every member of the band is so grateful for the excellent leadership we have had from our director, our music staff, and our parents. Without all of them, none of this could happen.”
Drum major, Preston Nunez, a junior at San Marcos, is looking forward to next year. “We are losing some great seniors, but we are hoping for some talented incoming freshmen from La Colina, La Cumbre, and Goleta Valley Junior Highs, to fill our ranks next year.”
Director Kiyoi echoed those comments, “We are definitely looking for students who want to participate in a high achieving program and are motivated to do what it takes to be the best.” Kiyoi hopes every Junior High band student will come to the community performance on Tuesday, both to enjoy the show and to plan for their high school music experience.
The San Marcos band program has repeatedly distinguished themselves in other areas as well. In 2008, the Marching Band was invited and participated in the Orange Bowl Parade and Orange Bowl festivities. The Concert Band has performed on three different occasions in Carnegie Hall in New York City. The Jazz Band has twice played the great jazz festivals of Europe, and the award winning Drum Line and percussive theater have repeatedly competed for the national championships in Dayton, Ohio.
How does a high school band program have so much success even as the school district is slashing their budget each year? Kiyoi says making financial ends meet is not easy.”We have the support of a great community who supports the band program in many different ways. Our parent band booster organization is so important to the entire program, we couldn’t do it without them,” states Kiyoi. Kiyoi directs the band programs at San Marcos High school as well as La Colina Junior High. One band parent, Sue McCollum, summed it up, “We do whatever it takes to provide a path to success for our children. They still have to do the work to move along the path to success, but we make sure the way is clear for them.”