Band gets new leadership

Special to The Pinnacle
The 2002-03 San Benito High School Scarlet Regiment Band have
four student leaders that will be taking charge of the marching and
concert bands and a captain and co-captain leading the guard.

Special to The Pinnacle

The 2002-03 San Benito High School Scarlet Regiment Band have four student leaders that will be taking charge of the marching and concert bands and a captain and co-captain leading the guard. Michelle Juarez will be the Marching Band Drum Major and Jared Fry will be the Concert Band Student Director. Captain Celissa Valenzuela and Co-Captain Christina Hernandez are the Color Guard leaders. Each student leader will be responsible for directing and leading their groups in practices and in the performances.

These students have been together since junior high and are now in their forth year with the high school band. They have earned the respect of their peers and with their instructors, Mr. And Mrs. Zuniga. These students are well trained for the positions they hold. The ’02-03 school year will be one of high expectations and the competitions will be one of excellence. Last year, the band and guard won 90 awards in competitions. This year, their achievements will be more impressive as the Scarlet Regiment Band. These students have a lot to say about their accomplishments.

Michelle Juarez’s love for music all started at the age of seven, with piano lessons.

“When I entered the sixth grade, I saw and heard the clarinet. Instantly, I fell in love with it and took lessons and played it through my middle school years. In my freshman year in high school, I was ready to take on a new instrument. I chose the trumpet because it was a beautiful instrument and it had a meaner and darker sound to it. I couldn’t stop just playing two instruments. I took up the drums, French horn, baritone, mallet instruments and a little bit of the saxophone. During my freshman year, my passion grew to hold the position of Drum Major. The Drum Major is the Captain of the Marching Band. This was a goal and dream of mine that I had set for myself. Going into my junior year, I explained my passion to Mr. Zuniga and he saw in me good leadership skills and my love for music. I was then appointed as Drum Major for my senior year. I have never been happier in my life. My goals for the band this year is to work hard to represent our county in a good way, and also to make it a year that no one will ever forget.”

Jared Fry said that he began at the age of seven with his dad teaching him and his brother the piano. These lessons were for about seven years.

“I first picked up the trumpet in elementary school at Christian Community Academy in San Jose. We moved to Hollister in 1997 where I started the seventh grade. I attended Rancho San Justo Middle School and Mr. Ostenson was the director. This is where I learned to play the tuba and I’ve played ever since. Once in high school, I continued to play the tuba for the band. I picked up the cornet / trumpet again and started a band called Fat Loser Boy with my buddies halfway through my freshman year. We’re still together and enjoying every show we play. I was also going places with my tuba. I have attended the Central Coast Sectional Honor Band three years and plan again to do so for my fourth year. Now my favorite instrument is the guitar. For the first time, I’ll be playing the guitar in the high school’s zero period jazz band. I will also become the first Student Director for concert band. I’ll be directing the band through selections of music at competitions. I’m looking forward to the upcoming year.”

Captain Celissa Valenzuela was chosen for the ’02-’03 color guard at SBHS. She first heard of the color guard when one of her friends mentioned how cool it was to travel in charter buses, compete against other schools, and meet new people. She then joined the shield line (identification unit) for the Rancho / Maze school band. “After I graduated from Maze Middle School, I joined the high school color guard. At first I was scared, because it was high school and they were more advanced. I found out that marching wasn’t the only thing you could do. There was also winter guard, which competes indoors in a gym. Winter guard was the best. In my second year, I took notice of the leadership, the captain and co-captain. I decided to work my way up to be in this position. Leadership was not just about skills or technique, but maturity, patience, and confidence. I met the new band and color guard directors, Mr. And Mrs. Zuniga. I asked them what it would take to be captain. Afterwards, I told my parents about the nerve wrecking tryouts that were required. Into my junior year, the captain and Mrs. Zuniga started talking to me about the shows and seeking my opinion. Shortly, I became the co-captain and I helped choreograph the ending of a dance feature in our winter show. That year, we took the championship trophy for the N.C.B.A. 2002 Winter Guard in Stockton, CA. Later that year, I was asked to be the captain for the following year. I gratefully accepted with joy. Since this new school year, I have been training new and old members the routines. I have a lot of help from the directors, former Captain Westley Adams, Co-Captain Christina Hernandez, Drum Captain Eddie Garcia and most of all, my parents. This has been the best thing that has happened to me, and I hope this year will be a great challenge for me as a senior.”

Co-Captain Christina Hernandez felt that the color guard had always been a part of her life. Her oldest sister, Brenda, was once captain for the SBHS Color Guard. “I can remember going to her performances and knowing that when I have a chance, that is exactly what I wanted to do and here I am. As the co-captain of the SBHS Color Guard, I love it. I started in the eight grade with Rancho San Justo’s Shield Line. When I entered high school, I was scared and did not join the guard in my freshman year. In my sophomore year, I left my fears behind and joined the guard, and then I was hooked. Bit by bit, I learned every piece of equipment and met a lot of new and fun people. My sophomore and junior years in high school passed by so quickly. Then the day came when I was called into the office. It was near the end of my junior year when I sat before the Zuniga’s. They asked me if I would accept the position of co-captain and of course I accepted. I was so excited. I felt I was chosen because I’m a dedicated person and will work hard for what I want. Now the year has begun and Captain Celissa and I are really starting to get the feeling of being in charge and it is great. I hope we can excel above and beyond as captains of the SBHS Color Guard.”

This year is just starting and things have happened already. Because of last year’s great performances and recognitions, the band has received invitations to play for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City, the New Years Day Parade in London, England and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade in 2005 – 2006.

As of right now, the band students are expressing their desire to attend the Heritage Festival in Hawaii this year during the Easter school break. There seems to be a consensus among the students that they are going to have to work really hard in their competitions and in fund raising. Where there is a desire, there is a way and we wish these students success this ’02 – 03 school year.

Leave your comments