At the request of the city of Santa Clarita, the Valencia High School Marching Band drumline led off the second annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Unity Walk on Monday. The drumline, which was made up of fourteen students playing five different instruments, entertained the crowd before the speeches began, and then started the Unity Walk with a rousing drum cadence.
“The drumline wants to thank the city for the opportunity to participate in this important event,” says Kelvin Flores, director of Instrumental Music at Valencia High School. “It was also a wonderful chance to showcase their music in front of younger students, who may never have seen a live drumline performance. It was good to see the joy it brought to the onlookers and have them equate that music brings happiness.”
That understanding is one of the missions of Flores and the Valencia High School Marching Band and Color Guard. Increasing music education in the Santa Clarita Valley is an important step towards whole child development, and if they can influence elementary and junior high-aged children to pick up an instrument and play, that’s just one more benefit beyond having fun.
And this year’s VHS drumline is definitely having fun. The largest team in school history, thirty-seven students will perform at competitions across southern California. Just as they aim to inspire younger students to pick up an instrument, many of them play multiple instruments in an effort to be more versatile and expand their musical ability. In fact, almost half of this spring’s team played a wind instrument or a brass instrument in the fall.
“As we saw today at the Unity Walk, music has the power to help bring communities together,” Flores said. “But it also helps individual students to grow and thrive. We’re grateful to the city for helping us to spread joy. We are hopeful that they will continue to make a commitment to support musical education in the future.”
To learn more about the Valencia High School Marching Band and Color Guard, visit prideofthevikings.org.