By Brittany Snow
As their season came to a close, the Gabrielino Eagle Marching Regiment (GEMR) placed 12th in the 2A Division at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) Field Championship held at Martin Luther King High School in Riverside on Nov. 17.
In order to qualify for the SCSBOA Field Championships, competitors had to rank in the top 12 schools in their division. Scores were calculated by adding together the three highest scores of the competitions held throughout the fall.
“Going into [the Championship, it] wasn’t about placing high or getting a trophy,” stated senior Elijah Arizmendiz. “It was about seeing the smile on my fellow drummers faces as they realized that it was the best show they could play.”
That morning, the group met at 7:45 a.m. to enjoy a breakfast provided by parents of GEMR students.
“[The Championship] is the last moment of the season where we get to show what we’ve prepared,” stated junior Miguel Cai. “It’s very cool when [everyone involved sees] a bunch of high school kids that didn’t really know how to work together, work together.”
The high schools that attended the Field Tournament were Azusa, Bonita Vista, Canyon, Cleveland, Covina, Long Beach Polytechnic, Palisades Charter, Patriot, Redlands East Valley, San Pedro, and University City. The top three schools received medals based on their placement.
San Pedro High School won first place with a score of 92.6 and received a gold medal. University City High School placed second with a 90.4 and was awarded a silver medal. Azusa High School was the third place bronze medalist and received a score of 85.05.
“This year we lost a lot of our seniors, and this caused the people who are usually shy or quiet to to step up. I’m very glad they did,” stated sophomore Aung Myat. “Their contribution allowed us to be where we ended up, and I couldn’t be more thankful.”
The regiment started off their competition season on a high note as they placed first at their competition at the Canyon Springs tournament, earning them their first qualifying score. They later placed second at the Baldwin Park tournament on Oct. 20. They then not only placed first as a band, but placed first in percussion and third in auxiliary at the Sierra Vista tournament on Oct. 27. On Nov. 1, they placed fourth at the Duarte High School tournament.
At the Vista High School tournament in Vista on Nov. 10, GEMR placed first. Originally, the tournament was held at Oxnard High School, but due to the fires happening in the Ventura and Malibu areas, the competition was moved.
“The season was really hard for me at first because I didn’t know what to do half the time, but after every after school rehearsal, zero period, and Wednesday drum rehearsal, it really paid off,” stated freshman Jacob Pena. “Not only did we get to the [Championship], but [participating in the season] made me a better person.”