As students continue distance learning during the pandemic, Music Director Kelly Anthony at Huntington Park High School continues to direct the marching band and color guard show called ¨Together,¨ a story inspired by the effects of COVID-19, that will bring everyone together and show how student leaders will keep everyone motivated.
The original show “Together” is written by Music Coaches Brad Ito, Kai Herrick, and Joe Edmonds and choreographed by Color Guard Coach Juan Hernandez. All students share the experience of the effects the pandemic has had on their lives.
“The music is just a reflection of us being separated right now physically but still our goal of coming together to make music,” states Ms. Anthony, music director.
At Huntington Park High School, this group is known for always having spirit and bringing excitement to football games and pep rallies. Working months on end to perfect their art for competitions and other performances. When asked what makes the group so special, many shared similar responses. Students benefit from being in this program by learning to play an instrument, spinning a flag, being involved with their school as well as its culture, and building different sets of skills. Many members of the Band Club say that anyone who joins will meet amazing hard-working people, make long-lasting memories, and have a great experience. Nonetheless, the band and color guard work extremely hard throughout the whole year and should be given the recognition they deserve.
“Marching Band and Color guard are like a family. we’re always there for one another. it’s really fun, and you get to play lots of cool songs, “ stated Melanie Rivera, Band Club secretary.
Although this group has come to experience some struggles, they continue strong. As many students can relate, they have had technology and internet issues. The Marching band and Color guard are no exceptions. It’s difficult for group members to show up to practice on time, including the section leaders who are struggling to form connections with their section. They are unable to check in on their specific section and worry about their mental health due to all the pressure. Many have found that their peers lost motivation due to their season being set back or even possibly canceled due to the pandemic.
During the school day, each section, Woodwinds-Flutes, Clarinets, Saxophones, Brass- Trombone, Baritone, Tuba, Trumpets, Percussion- Pit, Drumline, and Color guard all have different practice times they attend once a week individually. Practices take place twice every week on Wednesday and Friday, where they join together and play as one.
As the school year progresses, leaders hope to keep students motivated by creating new activities such as Fun Fridays and side events. They would like for students to feel more comfortable recording themselves since the director plans to make YouTube concert videos by the end of the school year to show how much the students have grown. At the moment, everyone is working hard to help keep the group fun by checking up on their peers, creating bonds, and working together to perfect their music and shows.
“You are not alone in this. We are all in this together as a team and we can get through this if we work together as one. I know it can be hard, but we are a family and need to support each other and give the motivation to better the band and ourselves,“ Paloma Villapando, band club vice president.
By Jesica Ramirez, Staff Writer
Photo Credit: @bandhphs