Band places first in parade

Hannah Lee, Asst. News Editor

Diamond Bar High School’s Thundering Herd marched their way to success after placing as one of the top three bands that competed on Sept. 25 at the Los Angeles County Fair, and then claimed the overall first place title at the Duarte Route 66 Parade just a day later.

The four-week competition at the fair required two to three performances a day, measuring each band’s music, marching, and showmanship, and auxiliary’s performance on showmanship.

The Thundering Herd placed third overall, and was awarded a prize of $2,500.

“I think we preformed very well [at the fair] and have made great progress since band camp, however, there is always room for improvement. We have been practicing harder than ever to continue our progress and hope to have another undefeated season this year,” band president Veda Patel said via Facebook.

Determined to emerge victorious, the team had been preparing for several competitions beginning as early as two weeks before the start of school.

In comparison to the previous years, the routine proved to be significantly more difficult, and both the band and color guard rigorously practiced individually as well as collectively to ensure their best performances.

Due to the recent extreme temperatures, practices have proved to have been a struggle, but members expressed that the hard work paid off.

“It’s a great accomplishment to be chosen as one of the top three marching bands out of the 39 bands that competed in the finals. Even though we didn’t win first place, we were still happy that our hard work took us far,” senior French horn player Pamela Tubillo said via Facebook.

The $2,500 prize will be going toward new instruments, as the department has struggled with the high demand of instruments and the lack of equipment. As of now, the band has developed a system of trading off instruments.

The following day, the team made an even more impressive showing at the Duarte Route 66 Parade.

Marching band, auxiliary, and drum major swept through the competition, competing against nine other schools from Southern California and topping the charts across all divisions.

Despite their overall third place score at the fair, the team used their previous mistakes to their advantage.

They discussed their routine the morning of the Duarte parade, tweaking final details and going over any possible last minute improvements from the day before.

“We improved a lot in the music for this parade, after recognizing our mistakes from the LA County Fair Finals. We didn’t actually get a lot of time to improve in between because the LA County Fair Finals was yesterday,” Ashley Wong, a sophomore flute player, said via Facebook.

As for color guard, the parade was their first of the season. During practice, the members focused on correcting their timing and improving their synchronization with other members, particularly with the drum major taking their lead.

They scored a total of 88.9, an above average number for the first score of the season.

“I think the biggest difference between our parade team this year and last year is that fact that we are working smarter, not harder … I feel that although we weren’t perfect, our team is willing to learn and take constructive criticism well, which is the key to having a great season,” color guard Captain Harjas Dhillon said via text message.

Despite being crowned champions at Duarte, the Thundering Herd will still continue to put their full efforts in to prepare for future competitions.

“Similar to last year, we hope to keep improving and bettering those who are weaker in order to build a bigger and stronger block… Our hope is to continue our sweepstakes streak and come out as champions at Arcadia, making us, once again, the best parade band in Southern California,” Patel said.