Thundering Herd takes home $10,000 from LACF

Brahmas stole the thunder at the annual L.A. County Fair competition and won first place sweepstakes.


Photo courtesy of NICHOLAS LUCERO

The DBHS Thundering Herd marched in the Los Angeles County Fair competition and took home a first place prize.

Catherine Liu, Staff Writer

After three years of making finals, the Diamond Bar High School Thundering Herd’s training paid off when they took home a first place trophy and $10,000 from the annual Los Angeles County Fair competition.

“It feels great,” band president Nicholas Lucero said. “It gives us a good feel early on that you know, if we’re able to win this early, it’s a premonition of what’s to come.”

The students began preparing for the competition over the summer by meeting at least once a week at school for hour-long practices. Once the school year began, the band assembled three times a week to train, two of those days dedicated to marching and one day to the music.

“We rehearse the music and set the block so that we can practice our step size and move together as a band in parade formation,” junior tuba Caryn Iwanaga said.

Lucero states that the approach that the band took was also important to making improvement along with practice.

“Focus. Usually every year right in the beginning it’s a big jumble of everyone’s doing this, everyone’s doing that and our thoughts are all over the place,” Lucero said. “One thing me and the others leaders try to really do is bring focus.”

Meanwhile, head military drum major junior Aaron Tamura focused on leading the band through sequences.

“The main problem I face is loosening up and getting ready to spin because there is a lot of pressure on me, since I’m following a long line of state champion drum majors,” Tamura said.

Tamura stated that he was able to overcome his fear by focusing on the efforts he has made and ignoring the judges and the band.

In the front of the drum majors, color guard lead in front, holding the banner and flags. They practice all week in class along with dedicating two days after school with band and one day after school for self practice.

“We are cleaner and more united, we really wanted to win,” senior Emily Ong said.

As the winner of the competition, DBHS Marching Band will not be allowed to return for four years as a part of competition policy, providing other bands a chance for first place.

The $10,000 prize money will be added to their budget, which covers transportation, food and other expenses.

“We wanted to really establish ourselves in the parade world as not just being lucky but being actually a dedicated and talented group,” Tamura said.