Thundering Herd Claims First Place at Duarte Parade

Hannah Lee, Asst. News Editor

After a let down at the LA County Fair on Sept. 25, Diamond Bar’s Thundering Herd made a comeback at the Duarte Route 66 Parade, claiming the first place title. Marching band, auxiliary (better known as color guard), and drum major swept through the competition at the city of Duarte, competing against nine other schools from Southern California and topped the charts across all divisions.

Despite their overall third place score at the fair, the team used their 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 previous day.

“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, this was their first parade of the season. Throughout practices, they 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 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.

Determined to emerge victorious, the team had been preparing for several competitions through summer band camp and beginning practice as early as the first week of school. The teams rigorously practiced individually as well as collectively to ensure their best performances. Due to the recent extreme temperatures, practices have been a struggle, but members expressed that it paid off.

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

“I think the biggest difference between our parade team this year and last year is that fact that we are working smarter, not harder… We have established a good starting point, and our coaches will continue to push us and we will continue to motivate each other throughout the parade season,” Dhillon said.