By Derrick Serrano
“And in fourth place for Division 4A in the California State Band Championships…,” says the announcer, his gallant voice echoing across Huntington Beach’s, sea-scented high school stadium. The grassy field below is packed with drum majors, their stiff, regal statures cloaking tense excitement. The usually rapturous conversation in the student-filled stands has been replaced by silent anticipation. If one were outside the stadium, they wouldn’t believe a single soul was present.
“Fourth place goes to… Cathedral City High School.”
A collective sigh is released by CCHS’s Royal Regiment. “One place away from Grand Championships! Just one more place,” someone mutters. The disappointment is clear… but only for a tiny second. Students begin clapping. Then, cheering. And, finally, a cacophony.
“Ain’t no party like a CC Party!” “WHAT! WHAT!”
The energy doesn’t leave the final bus ride home. Old stories, car games and laughter pierces the tiny space. The disappointment is there, but it’s insignificant in the grand scheme of the season. Director Matthew Howe’s encouraging words repeat throughout every student’s mind:
“I don’t have to say a word. This season has been successful. We’ve done things that this band program hasn’t touched in a long time or if ever. We got Best Music. Our sound is dynamite. And I think, next year, we can take it all the way.”
Congratulations to the CCHS Royal Regiment for their 4th Place win at the California State Band Championships. And congratulations to Matthew Howe for an impressive marching band season in his first year as band director. And, of course, congratulations to all senior marching band members for their endurance while upholding the program’s Commitment to Excellence and newest motto: “They will not outwork us!”