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Kaiser Catamount Pride Band and Color Guard End Season on a High Note


Practice makes perfect and at Kaiser High School, practice has made the Kaiser Catamount Pride Band and Color Guard as close to perfect as you’ll find.  That’s why on a Thursday night, instead of kicking back and watching TV, the 94 members of the band and the 25 members of the flag-twirling color guard are marching across the parking lot, while playing “The Loyal Legion March” for the ten thousandth time.  They’re practicing for their final competition of the season, the prestigious, invitation-only Arcadia Band Review on November 22, and they don’t want to bring home anything less than first place.

Not that they need another trophy.  The cavernous band room at Kaiser High is so full of trophies – big, towering first place and sweepstakes trophies, for the most part – that there is no more room left on the expansive trophy shelf (most of the trophies won this past season have been tucked-in to whatever unoccupied nook or cranny can be found in the music closet or in the band director's office).  But trophies and oversized, cardboard checks are just the spoils of competition.  The band and color guard have competed in band reviews and parades throughout the fall, when they weren't performing in the half-time shows at Kaiser's home games.  This winter, the color guard takes center stage when they move into their own competition season.

Much of the band's success can be credited to Band Director Anthony Allmond who has been at Kaiser since the school opened.  He has tirelessly endeavored to build a thriving music program at the school.  In fact, Kaiser’s music program has garnered much respect for the quality of musicianship that is created in its music ensembles.  Under Allmond's direction, the marching band has achieved a track record of notable honors at competitions and festivals, receiving consistent superior ratings.  “It has been identified as one of the top band programs in Southern California.  Each year I am amazed at what the band director and the students are able to accomplish,” said Victor Uribe, Principal of Kaiser High School.

The girls in the color guard also take their contribution to the unit's success very seriously.  They put in many hours, during and after school, rehearsing their choreographed routines to the band's music, as they spin, toss and slam flags or handle visual effects, such as faux rifles and sabers.  Advisor Kristina Nakagawa says she has really seen a lot of growth in the professionalism of Kaiser's color guard over the last few years and is proud of their success.

Behind every successful high school marching band is a Booster Club full of parents and friends who do a lot of the behind the scenes grunt work, as well as raise money for band trips and performances, and other needs that may arise.  And for Kaiser, this year, that means band uniforms.  The band is still using the original uniforms that were purchased in 1999.  Ten years of wear and tear is the average lifespan of a band uniform and Kaiser’s are on life support.  At a recent Board Meeting, Booster Club President Sheryl Gonzales made an impassioned plea to the Board of Education for money to purchase new uniforms next school year but with the uncertainty of school budgets statewide, there may be little or no funds forthcoming.  So, the band students and Booster Club are in major fundraising mode to raise as much money as they can for the 140 uniforms they’ll need to purchase at $600 each – that’s a total of $84,000 and that's a lot of M & M’s, candles, and carwashes.

In the meantime, the Kaiser Catamount Pride Band and Color Guard will continue to practice, practice, practice.  After the final competition of the season is behind them, they'll practice some more - this time for their upcoming audition for the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade.  If the Band and Color Guard run true to form, you may be able to watch them from your living room on New Years Day.
 

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2009-10 Marching Band Competitions

  • L.A. County Fair Marching Band Competition - September 19, 2008
    Second Place out of 32 bands. This achievement marks their fourth year placing in this competition.
  • Azusa Golden Days Parade - October 11, 2008
    Sweepstakes with a score of 92.5 out of 100. The Color Guard took Third Place.
  • Riverside King Band Review - October 18, 2008
    Sweepstakes with a score of 92.6 out of 100. The Color Guard won First Place with a score of 89.95.
  • Chino Band Review - November 1, 2008
    Second Place in the Class A Division with a score of 92.2. The Color Guard took Second Place. Drum Major, Jonathon Veloz, came in Third Place. The Band’s overall ranking was third out of 35 bands.
  • Ganesha Band Review - November 8, 2008
    Won Sweepstakes. The Color Guard took Second Place. Drum Major Jonathon Veloz, came in Third Place.


     


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Kaiser High School - 11155 Almond Avenue - Fontana, California 92337 - (909) 357-5900