Short handed Thundering Herd wins again

Samyuktha Vellaiyan, Staff Writer

Despite missing the majority of its junior and sophomore members, the Diamond Bar High School Thundering Herd persevered and was named Grand Champion at the Placentia Heritage Days Parade.

“This was an amazing win because we never won the Placentia competition [before]. This was a very exhilarating experience for me,” senior drum major Ethan Holmes said.

Band began practicing for the competition on the first week of school and also met for additional practices after school.  

They found out two weeks before the competition that around 40 juniors and sophomores would not be able to participate in the competition because of the conflicting PSAT exam date.

“We have been practicing for this competition for a very long time, so missing some people was not that big of a deal and the sophomores and freshmen were able to keep up,” sophomore drum major Niamh Veloso said.

Unlike band, color guard found about the scheduling conflict only one week before the actual competition.

Although they started preparations during the summer, color guard experienced difficulties because of the missing students, forcing them to teach the freshmen the routine in one week.

“In the beginning, I was really scared that the new people couldn’t handle it, but at the end they pulled through,” senior color guard co-captain Jennifer Thomas said.

The hours of dedication paid off when the Thundering Herd took first place with the top Sweepstakes score of 94.65 against 30 bands and color guard with a sweepstakes score of 90.25.

“At first we did not really have high expectations for them because the routine was fairly new, but because they were able to get [it] in a short amount of time, we were really proud that they were able to push through,” senior Katherine Cheng said.

The Thundering Herd hopes to continue its trend of taking home first place when it competes in the Chino Hills Parade on  Nov. 4.

“I think if we keep going at the same rate we are going and practicing the same way that we are, then we will be at a good spot,” Thomas said.