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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

GEMR places ninth at championships

    By Brittany Snow
    Staff Writer

    On Nov. 16, the Gabrielino Eagle Marching Regiment (GEMR) attended the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association field championships for the fourth consecutive year. The group placed ninth out of 39 bands in the 1A division, with a total score of 75.4.

    The top 12 bands in the division, determined by an average of the three highest scores for each band throughout their competition season, move onto championships. This year, GEMR entered into the tournament in 12th place, only 0.05 points ahead of Burbank High School.
    “Not knowing is part of the game,” stated junior Adan Martinez. “When we don’t know whether or not we will [move on], it makes us want to push harder and it brings us closer together.”
    During the championship tournament, Color Guard placed ninth, and percussion placed fifth.
    “Year after year, our percussion section has improved significantly and, looking back to my freshman year I am dumbfounded by the amount of talent in each drummer,” senior John Kurniawan said.
    On Nov. 9, GEMR attended the Vista High School Invitational field tournament competing against Oceanside High School. The group placed first with a score of 74.2, which was their second highest score of the season.
    This year’s graduating class is the first ever to qualify for championships four years in a row.
    Drum Major Amanda Brunjes said, “As a senior, I was able to appreciate the honor of what it meant to make it here and be proud of the collective effort of the band.”
    This year, the group moved from the 2A division to the 1A division due to the decrease in members. Though a loss of members or the lack of new musicians could be discouraging, GEMR took advantage of the opportunity to better themselves for the upcoming competition season.
    “This year’s band was different because it was mainly returners,” stated senior Tais Pacheco. “Not many new members joined, which allowed us to breeze through basics during band camp and allowed us to focus on refining technique.”
    GEMR’s preparation for its competition season consists of daily zero period rehearsals with after school rehearsals on Tuesdays and Thursdays. As part of the routine, band members run through their sets and work on areas of improvement.
    “Going into any [competition] was just an obnoxious amount of runs of the show and adding things in places that needed some filling,” drum major Miguel Cai said. “However, in our preparation for [the championship tournament], it was more about motivating the band to give it their all rather than adding things.”
    This season, the group focused on the bonding necessary for a cohesive team.
    “I would say this years band is full of unlikely friendships which is what makes it unique,” shared Brunjes. “The bonds within the band really reinforce that idea of GEMR family.”

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    GEMR places ninth at championships