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Band Life

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With many Baldwin Park High School students beginning to decide what classes they would like to take next year, now is a great opportunity to introduce them to the band program. The Braves Entertainment Corps. has always been a pivotal part of the arts curriculum at BPHS, and will continue to be in the upcoming years. Today you will read about a typical year in the band program to help students who are on the fence of joining one of the biggest and busiest families of BPHS.

A band year starts before the school year starts. The program is kicked off in the summer with marching season, the most active and rewarding time of the whole band year. The purpose of marching season is to train students to be a competitive music group against other schools at tournaments and to help prepare them for college performances later in their careers. This is the time of year to train new members in the fundamental techniques of playing an instrument and marching. Band Camp is where the magic happens. It’s a two week practice period starting in the first week of July meant to start piecing together the year’s show. Each practice during Band Camp is eight hours long in order to train the band both musically and physically for a show’s performance.

Once the school year starts, there are bi-weekly after school practices with Saturday practices sprinkled in here and there. Once October hits, tournaments will happen every Saturday until the final championships in mid-November. Tournament days start with early morning practices, followed by mid-day preparation and travelling, and conclude with a late night performance and trip home. Baldwin Park High School is in the 5A division, which is for groups with 150 members or more and is home to highly competitive groups such as Arroyo High School. 

Marching season ends either the second week of November or Thanksgiving Break, depending on whether or not the band makes it to Championships. While this season is, admittedly, quite strenuous and tiring, it is jam-packed with fun through being with your friends every step of the way and the pride of accomplishment from your garnered success at tournaments.

Concert Season is all about diversity. The various groups of the band (Drumline, Colorguard, and Band) go their separate ways for second semester to pursue their own competitions. While Drumline and Colorguard still continue going to tournaments, but with a completely different show, the whole band goes on to Festival. Festival is simply a formal gathering of schools to play concert music for a score from one to five, one being Poor and five being Superior. Around this time is where Jazz Band is established, where students stay after-school to learn and play the altered musical style of Jazz. Spring Concert is the last concert for both the semester and seniors, which features the work of John Williams in Star Wars and Indiana Jones. Sprinkled throughout this year are various school performances for rallies and even our annual Disney parades. Concert Season is designed to refine the musical talents garnered in Marching Season and mature students though multiple formal performances.

 

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