The calls came out from the announcer’s box.
“Great work. Drumline rocks!”
“Look alive out there, you beautiful blossom!”
“Knock them dead. When you get home, clean your room.”
“That’s an expensive trombone. We can’t eat for a month. But good luck!”
“Do your best and don’t embarrass me.”
The Lodi High School marching band and color guard were inundated with “shoutout” support from their families just before their field show performance called “Little White Lies” at the 35th annual Grape Bowl Classic on Saturday.
More than 20 bands trekked in to Lodi from across California, and even one from Utah, to participate in the band review held at the iconic Lodi Grape Bowl. The event is hosted by both Lodi and Tokay High School Bands, and invites high schools to compete for trophies and bragging rights.
The morning saw a parade competition winding through quiet streets lined with Lodians and parents watching their children perform.
Later, eight schools perfomed sets of jazz music at Lawrence Elementary School.
But the flashiest event for the spectators and the most fun for the student musicians was the field show.
The Lodi High choir sang the national anthem before the field show competition began.
Once their well-wishes were read out, Lodi High School took the field.
There was flashing brass. Booming drums. Movements were crisp, and the silken flags were mesmerizing and fluid.
One standout on the Lodi color guard is the only boy on the field with a flag in hand. Dressed in coordination with three girls on the guard, Zac Lee was responsible for a skyrocketing rifle toss to end the routine.
“Freshman year my friend asked me to come to practice. I did, and I enjoyed it. I joined at the next meeting,” said Lee of his two years in guard.
Lodi High left the field with big grins, proud to represent their school as hosts.
Bands really pulled out all the stops for their field shows.
J.F.K. High School in Sacramento performed a show channeling “The Incredibles” movie, with their color guard dressed in masks and tall boots to mimic superhero costumes.
Bella Vista High School dragged an entire pirate-themed set onstage with them. Parent volunteers set up a palm tree, a dock, and a towered ship painted on canvas. The color guard was dressed in elaborate pirate costumes.
It wasn’t easy trekking over the gravel lot to the west of the Grape Bowl. Many band members and volunteers complained of the rough path. Those schools with
Calevaras High School of San Andreas was performing their first field show of the year. Parent volunteer Christy Robertson said it took about 50 hours to organize their students and even missed one driver on the way to Lodi. But she remained collected. After all, the band’s T-shirts read “Keep calm and march on.”
Tokay High School band member Taylor Tingey, 14, seemed a little fatigued as the last few bands performed their field shows on Saturday night.
“We got here at 5 a.m.,” she said. The two host schools were responsible for setting up and organizing each band as they arrived.
But the parade performance went well for Tokay. Some students were absent to take their SATs for college, so a few last minute changes were necessary.
“I have to remember, don’t trip. And step with the right foot,” she said. Tingey plays the sousaphone, a tuba for marching.
Later in the day, it was her job to run scores up and down the Grape Bowl steps from one judge to another. As tired as she was, she plans to stay in band as long as she can.
“There’s too many great bands in colleges I want to perform in. I have to get there. So I keep practicing,” she said.
Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at firstname.lastname@example.org.