The CCHS Sound of Pride marching band traveled up to Hillsborough County on Friday to participate in the state Florida Marching Band Championships (FMBC) competition over the weekend at Gaither High School.
Coming in eighth out of fifteen other high school bands, the Sound of Pride took their ranking with satisfaction, a signal that the band had improved greatly. Last year, the Sound of Pride ranked twelfth out of fourteen bands at the same competition, a disappoint for many members that has now been overshadowed by the superior results of this year’s FMBC competition rankings.
“Although we all did want to make finals, I believe we were proud of our accomplishments throughout the year and the improvements we have made over the past three years since we have been classified as a 5A,” senior and brass captain Bailey Kraus said. “I was very happy with the results, as our performance was the best one I have been a part of and I am happy with the direction I’m leaving the program in.”
The marching band competed in the 5A class, a size ranking, meaning the fifteen other schools in their category also had over 100 percussion and wind players. The event hosted 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A bands as well, who competed within their own category. The Sound of Pride scored an 82.35 out of 100 from judges.
“It was an emotional experience from beginning to end; there is no other way I would’ve wanted the marching season to end,” senior Rosemary Barrientos said. “I feel pride knowing I got to perform alongside my friends, who all put in so many hours, effort and emotion into making our show amazing.”
The Sound of Pride performed their 2017 competition show, which the student-musicians have been working on since the summer, beginning in July. Each year, the theme of the competition show is changed; for the 2017-2018 school period, Kraus said, the show was “about the sunrise and aurora” and focused on the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora. John Mackey’s “Aurora Awakes” was the main music selection for the show. The competition show, called “Aurora Awakes,” was different from the halftime show familiar to CCHS students at football games.
Junior and drum major Kristina Smith said that she was particularly pleased with their output on Saturday.
“[Drum majors] are encouraging, and [we] provide and emphasize motivation and drive in times when those are lacking. We push the band to be the best they can be,” she said. “I could not be any prouder of them and what they produced on the field that day. I really can’t emphasize that enough; it was their best run of the season.”
After having spent Friday rehearsing and making the journey up north and Saturday competing, the band visited Busch Gardens amusement park in Tampa, a special activity for the band.
“I had a blast [at Busch Gardens], and we do not do it every year,” senior and band captain Karla Jimenez said. “The last time we went to Busch Gardens was my freshman year. I’m so glad we got to go again this time.”
Photo courtesy of JP Portraits