Marching band teaches advanced mathematical processing, proprioception, multitasking and time management, along with manners, discipline, sacrifice, generosity, teamwork and camaraderie – all in an outdoor setting filled with music.
The Los Altos High Eagle Marching Band will share its talents with the community during a performance and mini workshop 10 a.m. Saturday at Los Altos High’s Tom Burt Field, 201 Almond Ave.
Attendees of all ages will be introduced to instruments and have the opportunity to try out drills. The show and workshop are part of the Los Altos High Instrumental Music Boosters annual Fall Finale, a celebration of the rigorous marching band season for the students and staff and a fundraising event for the music boosters. The event will include a silent auction of items from local vendors as well as artisan brew coffees and baked goods for sale.
The 80-member Eagle marching band and color guard is scheduled to perform its 2018 competition show. The show, “Mirage,” is an original commission by Box Six. The theme reveals a desolate landscape come to life with warm tones and a wash of musical themes and visual presentations that take the audience on an adventure to discover the “Mirage.” The musical performance features a saxophone solo by Hugo Enser, flute solos by Cathy Wang, Joanne Doria and Meleseini Lotoaniu, and Emily Calking on the flugelhorn. All students are under the direction of drum major and Los Altos High senior Francesca Seni.
Working together since the second week of August, band members spend more than 20 hours each week outside of school time rehearsing and performing. The band has completed four regional competitions in the Western Band Association and will move on to the Western Band Association championship weekend in Bakersfield later this month. So far, the band has placed second overall in its class and received Best Percussion and High Music awards. Band season concludes Nov. 25 with an appearance in the Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade.
Los Altos High music department director Ted Ferrucci said he is proud of the hardworking group of students. A highlight of the season is the combination of peer leadership and alumni participation.
“We have a tradition of marching band alumni and recent graduates returning from college and elite drum and bugle corps to share their expertise with our students,” he said. “They bring knowledge of current trends and unmatched energy to the program, providing our students with relatable examples of excellence.”
Ferrucci also noted the impressive attitude and unity of this year’s band.
“We have many first-time marchers, but everyone quickly becomes part of the team,” he said. “They’ve really shown to both contribute and rely on one another to make something truly great.”
A highlight of the event is the mini workshop, where students will share their passion for music and marching band.
“Elementary school children, in particular, light up when they get to beat a drum, blow in a tuba or be a drum major for a moment,” Ferrucci said. “It sparks their interest. And frankly, adults are glowing, too.”
The Fall Finale is free and open to the public. Fundraising events are slated to begin at 9:15 a.m., followed by the show and mini workshop at 10 a.m. Proceeds from the auction will support all instrumental music programs at Los Altos High.
Maria Bautista is vice president and public relations officer for the Los Altos High Instrumental Music Boosters. For more information, call 814-4243.