By Angela Vega
On crisp autumn nights, glaring bright lights from the football field engulf students as they surround themselves with friends and high spirits fit for a Friday night of football. Amidst that, they witness a unit bigger than the football team march down the field. For the rest of the night, melodies of celebrated fight songs slip between the white noise of cheers and acclamation erupting from the stands.
Since the school’s opening in 1960, the Highlander Marching Band has thrived both at home and throughout the state. With their own solo activities and performances, the band has won countless awards over the years, as well as statewide recognition through various advertising campaigns and live television performances.
During the summertime, the band practices a complex 10 minute routine for over 20 hours a week on the field, making the success of the band heavily based on the willingness and determination of each student.
In the fall, the unit performs as a marching band, traveling from city to city to participate in competitive statewide competitions to showcase their musicianship and dynamics.
As the second semester rolls around, this team resides in the band room, where they focus on transforming themselves into a sit-down concert band. Focusing on a wide range of music, the concert band rehearses every day in preparation for music festivals across Southern California as well as the school’s home concerts.
With the countless hours spent on the field and in the classroom, the amazing talents and determination of its members, and help from its experienced advisers, the band continues to be a unit dedicated to tradition, friendship, and music. With a shared passion always lingering in the air, members find a genuine joy in the music and in each other.
“I love performing. I always get a rush of adrenaline and excitement no matter how many times we perform in front of an audience. Impacting the audience with the music we play is one of my many favorite things about being in band. We find each other’s strengths and weaknesses and lift each other up when in need, simply because we are a team,” senior and Highlander Band Student Association president Lisa Shigenaga said.