DBHS Marching Band continues down on its path of success

The Placentia Heritage Days Band Review, held on Oct. 15, marked a continuous upward trend for Diamond Bar High School’s marching band, the Thundering Herd.

Scores amongst the top three bands were close; DB obtained a score of 94.60 in second place, just 0.4 points away from first place Riverside King and 0.6 points from sweepstakes (or overall) winner Arcadia.

“This is currently our best performance of the year. Competitively, we are ranked third in the state. We’ve also won two consecutive showmanship awards. A lot of that is thanks to Color Guard, who bumped us up three points [in that category],” marching band director Steve Acciani said.

In a sport were an individual can be marked off up to three times for a marching mistake, every point counts. DB was judged in three separate divisions: Auxiliary (Color Guard), Band, and Drum Major. Each category has its own scoring guidelines and is judged by specialized adjudicators; the sweepstakes winner is the band with the highest overall score in the different divisions.

“The group of kids we have this year, especially our senior class, has a great work ethic and fantastic approach to everything. We expect that this will be kind of an indication of how things will go,” Acciani said.

Although the competition was tough, DB actually improved its score by two points from its first competition at the Duarte Route 66 Band Review, where for the first time in many years, DB was able to take home a sweepstakes trophy.

“I was in shock at first, but every time I think back to that moment, I feel overjoyed,” senior Drum Major Benson Rong said in regards to DB’s placing at Duarte.

Rong’s performance in the review landed him first place in the Drum Major division and was a big contributor to DB’s overall score.

“We were currently performing at 80 percent of our ability, imagine what score we could obtain if we performed at 90 percent. Two years ago, we scored a 89 at this parade, so there is a significant improvement,” Acciani stated in an evaluation to the class.

Last year, marching band instructor Casey Bindl made a bet with the students of the Thundering Herd, stating that he would follow through with it if they ever won sweepstakes.