Marching Band and Color Guard Keep the Beat at Football Games

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Color guard captain, Madeline Smith, performing at halftime during PVHS vs Inglewood football game. (Photo by Cynthia Mindicino)

Amber Chen, Opinion Editor

With the grandiose music performed live by the marching band filling the field, Sea Kings are always enthralled by the school pride they feel at PVHS football games.

Although it is an underrecognized program, marching band plays a major part in maintaining the exciting atmosphere at games.

Marching band performs at every varsity football game, bringing their lively marching and music to away games as well.

“I think marching band gets the crowd really pumped, especially with their last song when we finish the game,” said senior and Red Tide Captain Matthew Carroll. “It just brings everyone together.”

Though most students have seen and heard PVHS’s outstanding marching band perform, many don’t know about the hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

The marching band consists of the brass section, the wind section, the percussion section (drumline) and the color guard.

Due to the complexity of learning to play an instrument while marching in synchronization, the marching band started training during the summer, a week before school started.

“There’s a lot of things you have to keep track of at one time [while marching]. One of the things we have to always watch out for is our posture,” said sophomore Vanya Agrawal.

As the music plays, color guard, the visual section of the marching band, spins flags while marching in-step, impressing the eyes of the crowd.

Although it seems like they do it with ease, the members must practice hard to be able to synchronize everyone.

“It’s hard to be on time with everyone else and also to be on time by yourself, just with the song,” said freshman Josephine Padilla.

Formerly a dancer, freshman Ariana Valenzuela switched to color guard because of the unique conjunction of footwork, dancing and wielding a flag.

“I like the combination of waving the flag around while doing cool tricks with it while dancing,” said Valenzuela.

Padilla agreed, stating, “it’s a lot of moving your feet with the flag.

“It’s mostly just slow dancing with the flag, but sometimes jazz comes into it,” said senior and Color Guard Captain Madeline Smith.

This year, the marching band has been facing additional challenges, due to pandemic restrictions and the high ratio of brand-new members to experienced members.

“A lot of our upperclassmen either graduated or aren’t continuing this year, so we only have a few members in the band who have actually marched a show; the vast majority of members are new.

Most years we only have to teach three or four people the whole process, but this year, the section leaders and I are teaching almost the entire band,” said senior and Drum Major Calvin Barnum.

Although learning all of the songs in a small amount of time is difficult, the new members are extremely capable and are learning quickly.

“I think they’re killing it,” said Barnum.

“They’re sounding really good. I’m crazy optimistic for this year– they pick things up really fast. In that one week of band camp, they learned all these commands and implemented them into their playing really quickly.”

The color guard, with only four members this year, finds perks within the difficulties of their small size.

Although being off-beat is more noticeable due to the small number of members, it’s also easier to sync up with only four people.

“We may be small, but we’re mighty,” said Smith.

Limited by pandemic regulations as well, the wind and brass members have been forced to adjust their ways of playing.

“All the wind players have to use these covers on their instruments, especially the trumpets,” said Barnum.

“We have to learn how to sound in-tune and play correctly with the cover on.”

Despite these challenges, the marching band marches on with resilience and strength, continuing to bring their powerful music to football games.

“I think marching band adds a homely sort of atmosphere to the game,” said Carroll.

“The music they play is uplifting and it’s fun to listen to. There’s nothing better than live music.”