The Scripps Ranch High School marching band prepares for a busy season of competition. (photo by John Gregory)
SRHS marching band readies for competition
Literally marching to the beat of their own drummers, members of the Scripps Ranch High School (SRHS) marching band are hoping to come out on top as they kick off their season of competition.
The Falcons marching band season will begin at the end of October. With a group of 121 students including the color guard this year, the SRHS marching band will be performing music and a routine with the theme “The Tortured Mind.” Russell Shedd, music director at SRHS, said the theme, with music composed by Rob Stein, was introduced to the students during their pre-season band camp.
“We think the concept ‘The Tortured Mind’ is relevant to today’s modern teenager, so there is a lot to draw on as far as creativity and inspiration,” Shedd explained.
Students prepare for each season by attending a two-week-long band camp prior to school starting. Elaine Rosen, president of SRHS Music Boosters, said the boosters hire specialized coaches to work with the students to assist Shedd. These two weeks are spent learning the music and preparing for the endurance needed to perform in competitions. Students then practice three times a week to prepare thereafter as school begins.
“In addition to learning the music, they have to learn the positioning as well. As you might imagine, it takes multiple weeks to learn where you need to go and where you need to stand. They have to be able to find their certain spots on the field at certain times in the music,” Rosen said. “Just like any other sport, they also need to spend time conditioning as well.”
The competitions are executed by the California State Band Championships (CSBC) and bands are expected to adhere to strict rules such as timing their entrance and exit of their performance. The CSBC allows bands of all sizes to compete and then judges the performances against schools of similar size.
Shedd stated that he is hoping for a high-ranking performance, as the band has placed in the top nine out of 80 groups in past years. He also explained that all students are welcome to take up marching band regardless of previous experience.
“The program at Scripps is extremely inclusive. Anyone who has musical interest should join. It fits into every schedule imaginable. It helps students become lifelong learners and passionate supporters of the arts,” Shedd said.
The marching band’s first competition is the Valhalla Field Tournament scheduled for Oct. 26 at Valhalla High School in El Cajon.
Scripps Ranch High School will be hosting one of the largest competitions of the season on the evening of Nov. 2 on the home football field. The community is invited to attend with tickets being sold at the stadium on the day of the event. Tickets cost $10 for adults, $7 for students with ID, and $5 for members of the military and seniors. In addition, children under the age of 13 will be admitted free with a paying adult. All proceeds of the event will go toward the music program at SRHS. For more information on time and location, visit SRHSmusic.com.