LAHS marches toward end of season

Photo By: Shirley Pefley/Special to the Town Crier
Photo Shirley Pefley/Special To The Town Crier

The Los Altos High School Marching Band and Color Guard has scheduled a Fall Finale event 10 a.m. Saturday.

It’s not unusual for neighbors surrounding Los Altos High School to hear the sound of trumpets and drums during predawn hours or watch students marching at an afternoon football game or in the Festival of Lights Parade.

To thank neighbors for their patience and support, the Los Altos High School Marching Band and Color Guard has scheduled its Fall Finale event, a showcase for the community, 10 a.m. Saturday on the Los Altos High football field, 201 Almond Ave.

The band’s fieldshow, “Senses,” has won acclaim and recognition for Best Music, Best Visual Effect and Best General Effect at marching band competitions.

“Senses” features the music of Vaclav Nelhybel and Karl Jenkins. The music and choreography combine to highlight the five senses: sight, smell, sound, touch and taste.

“We picked this theme to get across the message that music can be used to heighten all your senses and inspire your imagination,” said Ted Ferrucci, longtime band director. “The music is extremely complex and demanding, but the students have risen to the challenge of creating an outstanding show. I’m very proud of them and their work ethic. I’ve rarely seen students work as hard as they do in preparing for competitions.

They work as hard as any athletic team, practicing five days a week since early August, to perfect the show.”

Senior Kelcey Negus, who plays the mellophone, said, “Getting up at 6 a.m. for practice is hard work, but I love it because there are 69 other people getting up at the same time. It’s one big family.”

The music is difficult enough to play while sitting down, but add the band’s movements and it can be extremely challenging.

“I’ve marched in the world-class Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corps, and this show is way more complicated than anything we’ve ever done,” said senior trumpet player Abbey Yacoe.

The musicians march, lean and weave into elaborate shapes while playing music. The color guard dances among the musicians waving flags, throwing rifles and forming a flower with props. The eight-minute musical and visual performance allows the group of individuals to perform as one.

“There’s a lot of camaraderie in marching band,” said drum captain Sean Fox. “We really pull for each other and it’s a lot of fun.”

The marching season culminates with the band’s final performance at the Western Band Association Championships Nov. 17 and 18. The band faces tough competition in its class from 18 other marching bands. Their show last year, “Forbidden,” won the High Music award, outscoring 43 bands from California and Arizona.

The Fall Finale will feature a music marketplace including a silent auction and bake and olive oil sales.

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