Six of the Santa Clarita Valley’s high schools competed Saturday in the 2022 Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association Championships and brought home many accolades.
The local high schools that competed were: Castaic High School Marching Band and Colorguard, Golden Valley High School Marching Band, Saugus Marching Centurions, William S. Hart High School, Valencia High School and West Ranch Wildcat Marching Band.
Hart High School has placed first 14 times prior to this year’s SCSBOA. This year, Hart took home its 15th win in Division 4A and placed first in auxiliary and music. This is the most any school in Southern California has ever won.
This year West Ranch High School moved up a division after consistently placing first at previous SCSBOA championships. They competed in Division 5A and finished in fifth place.
“They finished just 1.6 points out of second place and their score of 90.25 was its highest of the season,” said Bob Buttitta, spokesman for the West Ranch boosters.
Castaic High School’s journey to the championships was an unconventional one. This was the first year the band director Eugene Kim had tackled on the responsibilities of being a band director, and the color guard coaches, Olivia Siroky and Jenyl Marquez, had no previous teaching experience.
For the majority of their season, Castaic had to practice remotely. It was the first year that many of the seniors were able to have their first full year of high school without any pandemic-related interruptions.
Castaic also had only competed twice prior to this competition.
Despite all of the odds, Castaic High School’s Band and Cologuard placed first in Division 1A. This is the first time the school has won this award.
This was Saugus High School’s second year making it to SCSBOA after not qualifying for five years. Last year they placed sixth in Division 4A.
Saugus once again competed in Division 4A with their piece, “All the Queen’s Roses.” The Centurions placed seventh out of the 12 bands competing.
“It’s a great way to finish,” said Saugus High band director Bob Grigas.
Valencia High School Marching Band and Colorguard competed in Division 2A, being one of the top four bands in the division. They performed in the final grouping among the division’s other top bands.
With their piece, “The Raven,” Valencia placed first in their division.
“This is my first senior class as the band director at Valencia,” said Kevin Flores, director of instrumental music at Valencia, “so it was absolutely thrilling and gratifying to have been able to see the seniors grow throughout these four years and send them off with this victory. This accomplishment is the result of four years of dedication, commitment, hard work, and innovation from the students, parents, staff, and school community, as we have worked together to rebrand and transform the program since the start of the pandemic. I am thrilled that we were able to represent Valencia High School and the Santa Clarita Valley so proudly today.”
“They couldn’t have had a stronger performance to finish their season,” said Lorraine Kohagen, colorguard instructor at Valencia. “I am so proud of all the students and their tenacity.”
Golden Valley High School placed fourth in Division 2A.