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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

GEMR places at competitions

    By Brittany Snow
    Staff Writer

    As their season came to an end, the Gabrielino Eagles Marching Regiment (GEMR) placed fourth in their division at the championships held at Ramona High School in Riverside on Nov. 20. That morning, GEMR gathered at Gabrielino High School at 10 a.m. and headed off to Riverside to compete. After performing, the band took the stands and waited for awards, which began at 4:45 p.m. Eleven alumni members came to support GEMR at awards. The regiment had another competition on Nov. 11 at Oxnard High School. At that competition, GEMR placed first overall and learned that they were
    Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) Championship Finalists.

    “We were all scared because we hadn’t placed in the other two categories,” stated freshman Sophia Subia. “All of a sudden they called out [GEMR] for first
    place.” Competing in the championships was a first for many of the freshman band members. “Practice going into champs was like any other,” clarinet novice Kristy Liu revealed. “Of course there was a lot more pressure and it involved a lot more focusing than practices in the past. We especially focused on cleaning up those little areas we knew we had a bit of trouble on.”

    On Nov. 2, GEMR reigned victorious as they placed first in three categories: color guard, percussion, and band overall. Even though competing was anew experience for many members of the band, they have all put in the hard work to amass several achievements this season. This year’s competition was different in comparison to those in previous years. This season hosted around 70 freshmen throughout the regiment.

    “My favorite part about marching band is seeing my section grow as well as the other new kids in other groups,” stated clarinet section leader, Natalie Thi. “I [also] love seeing them create bonds and become apart of the band family.”

    As marching band worked on performances for football games and competitions, they practiced  everyday before school and after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They focused on many different areas in their music, especially those that they know need a bit more perfecting. After school, members of the band divided into their sections and practiced their respective parts in the pieces. After an hour and a half of rehearsing, they continued to practice on the football field as they incorporated marching and played their instruments. The regiment’s drum majors, seniors Dominic DiConti and Tony Tran, were there to assure that everything runs smoothly. “It’s a whole new experience,” stated DiConti, “because now I’m not only watching myself but I’m watching everybody else too.” Competitions consisted of different bands divided by their division and size. Depending on the competition, there were chances that GEMR was the only group in their division because of their size. At these competitions, there were seven judges who scored the bands based on criteria such as music and visual performance.

    Each band’s overall score was the average between all of the judges scores.
    After competing, members of the regiment returned to the bus to dress out of their uniforms and eat snacks provided by parents. “I always look forward to eating
    the Ritz crackers and Cheezits the parents bring for us,” stated senior Kevin Yuen.
    While snacking, members of the regiment shared how they felt about their own performance, as well as the group performance. When the time came, the band members formed two lines and marched to awards. “The place that they get never matters to me. I just always want them to do their best,” stated Melissa Romero, band director. “Where they end up placing will always matter to them and I love to see that they feel like they accomplished something great.” GEMR will have its showcase on Dec. 16 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the GHS Stadium

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    GEMR places at competitions