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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

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The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

The Student News Site of Lynbrook High School

the Epic

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Marching Band Marches Onward

Photo used with permission from Lynbrook Instrumental Music Boosters.
Lynbrook’s marching band performs at Cupertino High School for tournament of the bands on Oct. 14.

Under the bright stadium lights, Lynbrook’s marching band and color guard perform songs with coordination, proudly bringing home high honors in many competitions. Their hard work during countless hours of practice pays off as their music wins the hearts of the audience and judges. Looking back on their season, marching band and color guard recount their journey of practice and dedication to attain their victories.

Every season, the team is required to follow a theme in their music and choreography. The theme this season is “Toy Box,” in which performers represent toy soldiers coming to life. Performances also featured work from the Baroque era composer Johann Sebastian Bach, who is known for breaking norms and creating a new form of music. The team incorporated this idea into their performance through unique marching formations and choreography, starting with more rigid motions and slowly becoming more fluid to represent their coming to life.

The team competed in their first tournament of the season on Oct. 14 at the Cupertino Tournament of Bands. Winning the gold medal at this competition was the start of a season-long streak of wins. 

“This was a strong start to the season because it was the underclassmen’s first tournament and it prepared them for what was coming,” senior and clarinet leader Anushka Shinde said. 

During the following week, the marching band and color guard competed in their second tournament at the Gilroy Garlic City Classic competition. The team made an outstanding achievement of first place in class 4A, the second-largest division in the competition. 

  Commitment and hard work contributed to the team’s success this season. In particular, band and orchestra conductor Michael Pakuluk applauded the soloists for putting on extraordinary performances. For instance, junior Eliane Juang was the first to play the oboe for a solo performance in Lynbrook’s marching band history. Pakaluk also congratulated soloists Max Luo, Isabella Chiang, James Fan and Lucky Jain for their exceptional performances.

“The judges all noticed that our woodwind solo ensembles were incredible,” Pakaluk said. “That was one of the highlights of this season.”

Their victories were also aided by a shift in their league. Last season, the band was part of 5A, a league that primarily consists of bands as large as 300 members. With only around 120 musicians this year, Lynbrook couldn’t compete against larger bands who were able to perform disproportionately ambitious choreographic maneuvers. This season, however, band size requirements for the different leagues were revised, allowing Lynbrook to move to the class 4A division. With a relatively large member count compared to other 4A bands, they gained a slight edge over competitors. 

Nearing the end of the competition season, marching band and color guard competed at Independence High School on Nov. 4. At the Independence Band Tournament, Lynbrook came in first in the 4A division once again, marking their third first-place victory of the season.

“It was a great run for the percussion section,” senior and drum major Daphne Chao said. “There were no obvious mistakes in the entire program and it boosted our confidence for the rest of the season.” 

In preparation for the Western Band Association’s Norcal Regional Championships — the final, most crucial competition of the season where the best performers would be named championship winners — the team was hopeful and anxious to maintain their first-place streak. 

 The marching band received second place at this last competition — the performers were satisfied with their achievement against other highly ranked bands. Furthermore, their performance still showed improvement from last year, moving up from fifth to second place.

“At our last show, everyone told us it was brilliant because we all put our hearts into it,” junior and drum major Helena Ho said. “We knew that it was the last time this show would ever hit the field.”

Behind the scenes, the team spent countless hours practicing their pieces. In addition to three weekly practices, there were private sectional meetings where members perform routines called chunks, where they repeatedly rehearse portions of the show.

During band camp over summer break, marching band and color guard participated in various team bonding activities, including a performance for friends and family, which helped them develop a close team dynamic. This bonding strengthened the teams’ connectedness and helped them achieve a synchronized performance. 

“I always knew that our team was capable of winning tournaments,” Chao said. “It was just a matter of whether we would pull through and fight for the wins that we really wanted.”

On Nov. 8, the team concluded their season by celebrating the seniors. They performed their award-winning Toy Box show for the last time in addition to a senior run-through. They then had an award ceremony to acknowledge all the people who made the season so successful. While the seniors are sad to leave this team behind after a memorable season, they are excited for the next chapter. 

“I spend so much time with these people that they become like my family,” Shinde said. “The thought of not being there next year is really heartbreaking.”

During the 2024-25 season, the team hopes to continue working hard to improve and welcome fresh talent.

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Deeksha Raj
Deeksha Raj, Business Manager
(she/her) Deeksha is a senior. During her free time she enjoys taking naps, watching tv, and playing sports. Her favorite sports to play are tennis and basketball. Other hobbies include traveling, hiking, and cooking. Deeksha loves psychological thriller movies and TV shows.
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Meadow Shen, Staffer
(she/her) Meadow is a junior and first-year staffer at the Epic! In her free time, she enjoys playing piano, hiking, and reading. She also loves to bake and visit new cafes.

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