In what is considered to be one of largest marching band competitions in the area, more than 6,000 people attended Rampage – hosted by Hart High School at College of the Canyons’ Cougar Stadium last weekend.
The competition featured bands mostly from Los Angeles County, which included all of the local high schools except for Saugus High School – which wanted to attend, but was booked for another competition that day.
According to event organizers, it took hundreds of volunteers months to make an event the size of Rampage run smoothly – many of whom are alumni, family members of performers, and performers themselves.
While the event also serves as the biggest fundraiser for the Hart Regiment – Hart High School’s foundation that provides funding for their marching band – event publicist Adrienne Reisinger said it’s much more than a way to raise money.
“That’s what makes this a big event. I believe it is one of the largest, if not the largest field tournament in the state of California. So it’s big,” said Reisinger. “But, It’s not just for [Hart], we’re doing this for all of the kids. We fundraise for Hart but we do this for all the kids, we cheer them on… we’re excited for them. So that’s why we do this.”
West Ranch High School took most of the top honors at the competition – including the sweepstakes – beating out more than 30 other bands. Their band has a long tradition and culture of winning, which meant their new director of instrumental music, Stephen Hufford, had some pretty big shoes to fill.
“I looked forward to this challenge because it’s a bigger program, so it has more elements to it… because the students start playing music earlier, they start, in elementary school on that side of the valley, we were able to achieve some really amazing results by the end of their high school experience,” said Hufford. “I wanted to push myself as a musician and as a teacher to see what I could do with the students that are at West Ranch.”
Hufford also thanked Hart, and everyone who organized, for hosting the event.
“I am incredibly proud of our hard-working students for putting in countless hours and improving every day,” said Hufford. “I would also like to thank our gracious hosts, the Hart Regiment, for putting on an amazing event with so many outstanding performing bands.”
Izzy Schrack, Hart’s drum major, said the competition was a rewarding experience as it was the culmination of their season.
“It’s definitely very rewarding, just a few kids and parents to just pull this off, such a big competition,” said Schrack. “This is pretty much what our season builds up to besides, you know, championships and stuff like that. So it’s just kind of like, ‘Wow, it’s almost done.’ It’s hard to believe it when it’s over.”