By Angelina Liang
On Oct. 15, the Gabrielino Eagle Marching Regiment (GEMR) competed against five other bands in Division 1A at Baldwin Park High School, receiving first place in their second competition of the year.
GEMR’s score went up 13 points from their first competition on Oct. 1, where they placed second out of three bands.
“The competitions are about five hours long,” stated band member Dominic DiConti, junior. “We warm up for most of the time, performing takes about 10 minutes.”
This year, GEMR’s performance set, titled “The Music of Queen,” features music from rock band Queen. The marching band opens with “Bicycle Race,” then transitions into “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” and finally closes with “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
In competition, the band’s scoring panel is composed of one judge for the band’s visual effect, one for musical effect, two for musical performance, one for the color guard section, and one for the percussion section. These scores are totaled, averaged, and converted into a percentage.
Since July, the band has been preparing for competition season. During their annual band camp, new members were introduced to the basics of marching band.
When school began, members were required to attend after school practices and were placed into zero period Marching Band.
At the start of after school practices, the band separates into smaller groups, called sectionals- woodwinds, saxophones, low brass, high brass, upper battery, lower battery, and front ensemble – to memorize music together. Afterwards, they regroup and rehearse as a full ensemble in the band room before heading onto the field to practice marching.
Color guards work with a separate coach, learning routines involving dance, flags, and rifles.
“The first competitions are where we really see how the sea- son’s going to go,” stated senior Victoria Vasquez, color guard co-captain.
Zero period practices generally serve as a review of the previous day’s rehearsal for both the band and color guard.
This year, GEMR aims to perfect their musical performance and maintain the motivation to grow as a group.
“In the last few weeks, students have been working really hard to improve” stated band director Melissa Romero. “We’re working on getting better individually and how that’s going to come together as a group.”