The West Ranch Wildcat Marching Band took home the gold medal for best band in the Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association State Marching Band Championships at Warren High School in Downey on November 16.
West Ranch won the gold as SCSBOA 5A Division State Champions and was also awarded for having the best color guard and percussion sections.
It was the fourth marching championship for West Ranch (previous titles were in 2007, 2008, and 2012) and the first time the school won all three major awards at the championship.
“I’m happy to let everyone know that the band won the tournament and is SCSBOA 5A State Champions!” said Jason A. Marshall, director of Instrumental Music at West Ranch High School.
The championship was the culmination of months of dedication, after-school rehearsals, competitions, and performances. But as the students went out on the field to showcase the fruit of their hard work, emotions this year were mixed due to the tragic Saugus High School shooting that happened just two days before.
During the competition, the young student musicians dedicated their performance to the students, families and staff of Saugus High School, where a shooting occurred two days earlier that left three Sauigus students dead. Both schools are part of the William S. Hart Union School District.
The West Ranch students held up a “Saugus Strong” banner and made sure to display the banner along with their awards.
A moment of silence was also held in the victims’ honor prior to the celebratory toast for the Wildcats’ extraordinary achievements of the evening.
At a pizza night fundraiser held on Monday, November 18, meant to raise funds for West Ranch High School’s band program, proceeds instead went to the Saugus High School Band Boosters.
“After four months of the students and staff putting their hearts and souls into this show and getting through so many challenges in this season, we are thrilled with their success,” said Marguerite Syvertson, president of West Ranch Band Boosters.
“It’s more than that though. Dedicating this performance to Saugus High is what being part of the Band and Color Guard family is about, both at West Ranch and across the District,” Syvertson said.
Established in 1937, the SCSBOA is the largest organization that serves more than 1,000 schools in Southern California, and overseas marching band reviews and field show competitions. Only 12 schools are able to secure a spot to compete at the SCSBOA 5A Field Championship.
The West Ranch Marching Band and Color Guard has grown to be the largest and most successful group at West Ranch High School and consists of more than 150 members from the school’s wind ensemble, symphonic band, concert band, and color guard.
The school’s color guard performs as a unit with the marching band during the fall semester and has been recognized over the years as both Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC) Gold Medalists and Winter Guard International (WGI) National Finalists.
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