Valencia and West Ranch Take Home Wins at 35th Annual Hart Rampage Marching Band Competition

The Valencia High School band performed their "NY Cityscapes" show at the 2018 Rampage marching band tournament. Matt Fernandez/The SIgnal

Marching bands are right at home in football stadiums, but at the Rampage marching band competition, they weren’t just the halftime show — they were the main act.

“Competing in Rampage has really become a tradition among the Santa Clarita school bands, and this is probably the largest live music event in Santa Clarita,” said Hart Instrumental Music Director Anthony Bailey.

The Hart High School Regiment Band and Color Guard hosted its 35th annual Rampage competition at Cougar Stadium at College of the Canyons. Thirty-five bands from across Southern California, including Santa Clarita’s six high schools, performed throughout the day for a panel of judges.

“Rampage is the biggest fundraiser we do each year and it’s a really fun, big community event,” said Sunny Stayman, publicity co-chair for the Hart band. “It’s the longest-running and one of the largest marching band competitions in California and its popularity has been growing among spectators. This year we’re expecting between 6,000 and 10,000 people.”

“Marching band is a great activity because you can see creativity in the dance and music and unlike other sports there aren’t starters and bench players, everyone gets to participate equally,” said publicity co-chair Larissa Mousheghian.

According to Bailey, Rampage is such a popular competition that it has a long waiting list of hopeful competitors.

“What’s great about this tournament is that it’s one of few sites that is hosted at a college, so we have higher stadium seating that can accomodate a lot more people,” Bailey said. “We really want people to come back each year so we’re known for our hospitality and amenities. Our focus isn’t really on what’s new or adding things, it’s maintaining that level of expectation and a consistent experience”.

Cheryl Custard’s daughter was a member of the Saugus color guard and, though she graduated last year, Custard still came to watch the school’s band compete.

“Rampage has always been my favorite competition to watch because it’s so big and so close,” Custard said. “I became a band and color guard mom and I became part of that family, so even though my daughter isn’t in the program I felt like I had to come back. It’s great having such a big competition in Santa Clarita because it helps give our bands exposure. We get to showcase all of our schools’ bands. Everyone knows we have good schools but now they can see our great music programs.”

Valencia took first place in its division for the percussion and auxiliary categories and West Ranch walked away with the sweepstakes award.

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