Celebrating a Successful 90 Years of Amador’s Band with Pancakes and Music

Alexis Waiss and Aishni Jolly

Recently, the Amador’s band and colorguard hosted their annual Pancake Breakfast. However, unlike the previous years, band students, directors, families, and friends used to breakfast as an opportunity to celebrate a milestone: Amador Marching Band’s 90th birthday.

The band’s pancake breakfast, dubbed this year as the “Bandcake Breakfast”, is hosted every year to raise money for the program.  This money is used to repair old instruments and buy new uniforms, instruments, and support equipment like speakers, music stands, metronomes, sheet music, and more.

By 8 am, friends and family members of the of band gathered to enjoy their first meal of the day while watching different sections of the band perform, starting with the symphonic band, then jazz bands, *purple and gold wind symphony, JV & Varsity colorguard, and finally, the wind ensemble.  

However, Amador Friends of Music, the volunteer program that runs the event, does more other than sell breakfast to gain funds.  Throughout the event, they auctioned off gifts, special events and deals that were paid with raffle tickets. In addition, parents bidded large sums of money on bottles of Kavanaugh Cabernet.  

While reporting on the 90th anniversary celebration, the AVJournalism team gathered a survey about reasons why people thought the band had thrived for such a long period of time.

The most apparent aspect that has been mentioned in people’s responses is the sense of community that comes with being a band member.  

“Our band directors, Mr. Grantham and Mr. Dandrea, have always called band a ‘band family,’ and I think that’s really true on how all the students in band feel so close to one another.  That sense of community has just gotten more and more people to join us because everyone wants to be a part of that, everyone wants to feel safe and secure and have people to talk to at school and have a giant group of friends,” said Emily Cole (21’).

This kinship has allowed students to consider the band a safe space.

“Everyone is just supporting each other, so I think it’s a great environment to be around, especially in high school where there’s a lot of stress and it’s just one place you can relax and that’s why it has lasted so long,” said Gloria Xie (‘20).
Looking back at the Amador band’s prosperity, many people have considered the dedication of the band directors.

“I think we have amazing band directors…They are very passionate about music and then they rally the kids, who are truly passionate about music,” said Shirley, the mother of a senior in the band.

Students and parents have especially attributed the band’s success to it’s long-time director, Jonathan Grantham.

“Personally I think it’s just the work that Mr. Grantham put into the program…I truly believe he puts his heart and soul into the program and care about his kids and…does whatever he thinks is best for the program,” said Anna Chuang (21’).

Grantham responded with gratitude when AVJournalism informed him about this trend.

“There is something very satisfying about settling in a place for a time, and it’s very humbling to hear that.  I think of myself as part of the formula but I don’t think of myself as the reason as things are successful,” said Jonathan Grantham.

In addition to the directors, attendees also mentioned how the devotedness of students has contributed to band’s legacy.

“I think it’s the dedication of the members whose part of band…it’s that passion, that strive to be good, is what has kept the band thriving for so long,” said Satya Yalamanchi (20’).

The plethora of band parents and volunteers that work hard to support the program are also given credit for the band’s success.

“We also have a very committed group of parent volunteers and the students are phenomenal.  We feed off of them, we feed off their energy, we feed off their love for music, and they enrich our souls.  So collectively, I think we all grew together, and we are happier because of the band,” said Mrs. Yang, a volunteer for Amador Friends of Music and mother of a band student.

Despite people’s opinions, it can be concluded that together, all of these factors have allowed the band to flourish through 90 years and counting.