Marching band Chinese community hosts Mid-Autumn Festival event


Photo provided by Shu Liu

A team of over 10 Chinese parents arranged and prepared the festival celebrations.

Carol Xu, AVT Editor-in-Chief

The Amador Friends of Music last night organized a special after-practice snack event for the marching band led by Chinese parent volunteers in celebration of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival. 

Also known as the Moon Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrates the autumn harvest on August 15 of the Lunar calendar year. Mooncakes, which symbolize family reunion and prosperity, are popular desserts that Chinese families eat together while moon gazing. 

According to event organizer and parent helper Vivian Shum, the Chinese parents found inspiration in a Wednesday snack night held by the Indian band community last season, and wanted to reward the students for their progress. 

“Everyone is working very hard. I went to the small summer camp performance and was already impressed by what’s coming out. I was very impressed by how the band feels like a big family, a bunch of groups from all over the city getting along,” Shum said. 

One hour before the Wednesday practice ended, a group of parents set up traditional Chinese decorations and laid out homemade mooncakes, cookies, and cheese pizza on tables. 

Volunteer Min Liu helped bake, prepare, and package over 160 mooncakes that came in five different designs. She appreciated the opportunity to share traditional Chinese pastries with the band. 

“For us, we mainly wanted to let different people try Chinese food, so I hope everyone likes our mooncakes,” said Liu

Students like Maggie Michaels (‘24), who had never eaten mooncakes before, enjoyed trying a new East Asian delicacy. 

“Definitely, absolutely yes,” Michaels said when asked whether she would eat more mooncakes afterwards. “The beautiful, tasty outside goes so well with the red bean filling. I feel like I’m on Cloud Nine.” 

Ritwik Aeka (‘26) noted that the homemade mooncakes and cookies tasted superior to store-bought ones. 

“The mooncakes were a lot better than the ones I’ve had before because they’re fresher and less oily,” he said. “I also like the flavor of the red bean paste.”

Flutist Cathy Gao (‘25) liked how the parents integrated their culture into the band snacks and broadened the students’ taste palettes. 

“It’s nice that we have representation of Chinese culture within the band snacks, because the band’s a very diverse environment and the mooncakes really exemplify our band value of diversity,” said Gao

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  • One parent brought a red rabbit ornament, which refers to a Chinese myth that a jade rabbit resides on the moon. (Photo provided by Shu Liu.)

  • Parents individually wrapped each mooncake for students to enjoy. In the end, all 162 mooncakes had been eaten. (Photo provided by Shu Liu.)

  • Traditional Chinese lanterns and fairy lights adorned the tables. (Photo provided by Shu Liu.)

  • Parent volunteers baked an assortment of sugar cookies and tart cookies to complement the mooncakes.

  • After being dismissed by senior drum major Nolan Lees, marching band students rush to snack tables for food.