Brahmas march toward victory

The Thundering Herd starts the season with two successful performances.


Photo courtesy of Handini Lesmana

Senior drum major Jonathan Tan leads the Thundering Herd in performances.

Diamond Bar High School’s Thundering Herd started its season by charging ahead of its competitors in the Duarte Route 66 Parade while also doing an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Fair.

In previous years, the Thundering Herd has managed to win many competitions, even ending up undefeated last season. The first competition of the season brought no disappointment as the Brahmas won auxiliary sweepstakes with a score of 89.3, drum major sweepstakes with 89.5 and overall sweepstakes with 95.1 out of six high schools.

At the County Fair, the group was unable to compete due to the regulations of the competition. The Thundering Herd took the $10,000 grand prize in 2017, so they will be unable to compete until 2021. In the meantime, however, they are allowed to perform at the fair.

The scores the Thundering Herd earned at Duarte were higher than those of last season’s; last year, they received a score of 93.5 for the overall sweepstakes.

“So far, we’ve either been doing as well as the past years or even a little bit better than the levels we usually are by this time in the season,” senior drum major Jonathan Tan said.

Despite the results of the first competition, the Thundering Herd’s leaders believe that there is still a lot of work to be done.

“I’m really proud of us and all the work that we’ve put in,” senior band president Kyle Kato said. “I think it’s a great start off to the year, but there’s definitely things that we need to work on and that we can improve on for the next parade.”

Senior band vice president Patrick Zhang said that the music this year is more difficult than those in the past due to the singling out of different sections as well as the difficult throughout the piece. Despite this, he said he believed that the Brahmas are having an easier time with playing the music rather than marching.

In order to prepare for competitions, the band has parade rehearsals every Tuesday and Thursday, as well as optional woodwind sectionals on Mondays and brass sectionals on Wednesdays.

Band director Steve Acciani believes that the hard work and dedication shown by the students ultimately led to the high scores at Duarte.

“Starting in the summer, they’ve had a great work ethic, and they’ve been doing all of the right things,” Acciani said. “So that was the thing we were most pleased with, that they were rewarded for all the hard work that they’ve put in.”

In addition to the band, the color guard was present at Duarte. They have gone through a major change with a new coach, who senior color guard captain Markella Simmons hopes will bring positive changes to the team.

“We’re really good at parade,” Simmons said. “Since like Mr. A is in charge of orchestra, band and colorguard all at the same time, so obviously he can’t be with us in every single moment, but when a problem comes, we’re very quick to solve it and not make it a big deal.”

The Thundering Herd’s next parade will be in Placentia on Oct. 12.