The Valencia High School Marching Band and Color Guard competed Nov. 20 in the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association Field Show Championships. Schools were judged on band, percussion and auxiliary (also known as color guard). Of the 37 schools in the 2A division, only 12 achieved high enough scores through the season to be eligible to compete.
“Performing at the SCSBOA championships is our goal every year. Achieving it means we have reached a level of musicianship and artistry, through hard work and talent, that lets us compete against the finest marching bands in Southern California,” says Kelvin Flores, director of instrumental music at Valencia High School.
Valencia High School’s 2021 program was called “Cloudstates.” Flores describes Cloudstates as “the journey of a storm,” and describes the show as a representation of our own victory over life’s turmoil. “Life throws storms at you, yet the sun always perseveres. It’s a perfect metaphor for the times we find ourselves in and the battle the world is continuing to fight.”
Cloudstates was also a metaphor for the marching band’s season. Like other athletic and arts programs, the entire 2020 marching band season was cancelled and all music was done virtually. Some students decided to pursue other interests, and a smaller number of incoming freshmen joined the marching band or color guard. As a result, when the 2021 school year began, the Valencia band was reduced from 3A to a 2A school, and fully two-thirds of the band had never marched.
Even more of the color guard had never performed a field show, and this year 90% were brand new to at least one piece of equipment. That didn’t prevent them from special recognition at multiple shows this year. “The color guard helped bring the Cloudstates show to life through the use of expression, movement and different styles of equipment,” says Lorraine Kohagen, color guard head. “Watching all of the color guard students come off the field with a sense of pride and enthusiasm is something that cannot be taken away from them.”
Terry Collier, president of the VHS marching band and color guard boosters, agreed. “To reach the championships with a majority of the marching band and color guard completely new to competitions — especially with the challenging music and program they did this year — is just a testament to these kids’ hard work and the staff’s dedication.”
“We have a very young team and a lot of potential,” said Flores. “We are all excited to see how good these young men and women can get in the years to come.”
You can see the Pride of the Vikings in action on Thursday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m. when they perform their winter concert at the Valencia High School theater. For more information about the Valencia High School Marching Band and Color Guard, visit prideofthevikings.org.