Amador Valley Marching Band finishes their season strong

Tejasvini Ramesh

More stories from Tejasvini Ramesh

Eva Raul

More stories from Eva Raul


Eva Raul

At James Logan, the brass listen to instructions from Mr. Cordoba and other staff during their visual warm up before lining up to perform at finals.

After finishing an amazing season, the marching band performed their show, the Light of the Moon, one last time at the Friends and Family event. At Friends and Family, Amador, Foothill, and Dublin’s marching bands perform the shows they’ve been working on all season to each other. 

“Friends and family is a chance to show off the work we’ve done in a non-professional setting. It’s just to have some fun and to enjoy performing and watching the other schools perform in a way that isn’t competitive,” said junior drum major Nolan Lees (‘23).

This year, Amador, Foothill, and Dublin’s marching bands all had show themes with some semblance to the moon. Despite having similar celestial themes, each band performed with a different perspective of the moon.

“I really loved both Dublin’s and Foothill’s performances. Foothill’s show had some really eye-catching moments with their music and choreography and Dublin’s choreography was also amazing and all of their band was on beat,” said flute player Niel Pal (‘25).

Foothill waits to enter the field to perform their show, “Luna”, one last time as Dublin’s band watches from the track. (Shambhavi Kumar (’25))

With the season officially wrapped up, many are reflecting on the great season despite COVID-19 heavily restricting marching band activities in 2020.

“I loved this season. The music was amazing, the show was so much fun, and I love the people, but I’m most of all so grateful to have a real season again,” said color guard member Joyce He (‘23).

The Western Band Association split Championships into Southern California and Northern California because of COVID-19 precautions, resulting in the season being cut one week short.

“I miss staying at a hotel with friends, but I’m still grateful we even got a season this year with COVID-19,” said mellophone player Cynthia Yu (‘23).

On November 13, Amador’s marching band won 3rd place at the season finale. This was a true product of hard work and dedication from their first practice to the final rehearsal.

“I think we all worked really hard and it really came together. For my first champs it was so exciting and I loved everything part of it. Everything is so fun and really gets me excited for whatever’s next,” said flute player Amishi Jha (‘25).

Their season was cut one week short after the California Regional Championships was cancelled. Still, the band set an all time record with 91.225 points out of 100 at James Logan High School.

“I’m really proud of the band for scoring as high as we did and I’m really grateful for everyone who put in hard work this season,” said flute section leader Jessie Chan(‘23).

At band camp, the three main themes of the band this year were community, commitment, and growth. As the season comes to a close, many underclassmen are reflecting on their experiences in band for the last three months.

“I feel like this season was mainly growth for me, because it’s my first season and community didn’t seem too important, but now I wish I opened up sooner,” said sousaphone player Ellen Lee (‘25).

After having a real, memorable first season of marching band, many underclassmen now face the decision of whether or not to continue next year. This is a decision many others faced in the

Every Amador Valley football game starts with the band leading the crowd in the Amador fight song. (Audrey Combs)

years before.

I’m thinking of continuing band because despite all the hard work and commitment I love the community and fun we have at band and all the new friends I’ve made throughout the season,”

said Jha.

A bittersweet finale for Amador seniors

Last Saturday, Amador’s marching band concluded another successful season. For the program’s seniors, however, this finale holds special meaning — it marks their last time marching for Amador.

In marching band, seniors serve as role models for the underclassmen. Regardless of formal leadership positions, all seniors help guide newer members through the season.

“I look up to my section leader Rohan because he always understands the time and place for breaks, jokes, and concentration while he also keeps everyone in line and bonds with them,” said sousaphone player Ellen Lee (‘25).

Senior drum major Julia Szambelan (’22), conducts the band as they perform on the football field in front of her. (Tejasvini Ramesh)

High school is a busy time for many students who have to juggle academics, extracurriculars, and social lives. Despite this, marching band seniors have been in the program since their freshman year. They spend up to 13 hours a week on marching band.

“I continued marching band all four years because I love the community. It’s full of hard working, talented, and kind people. I feel so lucky to be a part of that. And I also love the activity itself, performing in the marching band is like performing in a professional show. It’s a really unique opportunity that the students here have,” said flute section leader Morgan Notari (‘22).

Every season brings amazing memories, people, and feelings. These can only be shared with other students in the band.

“My favorite moment in band was huddling around one last time in front of the band trailer at the end of championships for the 2019 show Wonder Woman and hearing Mr. Grantham, Mr. Dandrea, and the drum majors give their final thoughts about the season. It was really special,” said mellophone section leader and brass captain Tom Li (‘22).