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Sun Shines on Bakersfield…And Samohi Marching Band Wins:

We had prayed for rain. Every time it rains on the day of a band competition, the host school moves the whole thing into its biggest gym, and each school forms one pretty pattern on the gym floor, plants its feet, and plays its music without moving an inch. Because music is Santa Monica’s forte, and marching our weakness, this is an ideal situation.

“When it rains, we win,” jokes our band director Terry Sakow. “You guys are unstoppable…as long as you don’t have to move your feet.”

The Stockdale Band Tournament was last Saturday, November 12, in lovely Bakersfield, a tournament we’ve only won twice, and each time on a rainy day.

So Saturday’s victory was all the sweeter, because, on the field, under a perfectly clear sky, we managed to win the highest award for woodwinds, brass, overall music, and overall marching with our field show for the 2005 season: Igor Stravinsky’s “The Firebird.”

“The students worked very hard for this and they are very deserving of this honor,” said Sakow. “I think it is our best performance at this tournament to date, and it’s obvious to me that this band is reaching a new level of performance.”

And our new level is certainly high, as our score proved. In the music category. we scored 427 out of 450. In the visual category, 192 out of 200; In the category of General Effect (a slippery category no one really can define) we scored 329 out of 350; In brass performance, an impressive 143 out of 150, and in woodwind performance, 137 out of 150. These scores combined to make an Total Band score of 94.8 out of 100.The band credits its winning performance to band directors Terry Sakow and Dr. Abel Ramirez, percussion instructors Scott Director, Naomi Sato, and Julio Diaz, color guard instructors Peter Gomez and James Shotts, drum major Mike Smith, color guard captains Ariel Rowin and Melissa Foran, and most of all, the hard work and dedication of its student members.

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