SBHS band marches its way to accolades

The SBHS band is shown here.

San Benito High School’s marching band paraded off with some serious awards as they wrapped up their fall competition season.
Among the wins was a marching sweepstakes—a prize recognizing the band with the highest score regardless of group size—at the Cupertino Tournament of Bands.
“Certainly some of the sweepstakes awards that we’ve won are pretty big highlights,” said Jim Zuniga, the high school’s band and choir director.
Zuniga credits the band’s positive “can-do type of spirit” and the student leadership from drum major extraordinaire Rebecca Cartelli for the good year.
Cartelli took the drum major sweepstakes at Santa Cruz, something that might be a first for a school, Zuniga said. It’s certainly a first during the 15 years the band director has worked on campus, he said.
“What that means is she scored the highest score possible of every single drum major there regardless of the size of the band or the equipment being used,” Zuniga said in an interview with the Free Lance.
The win came at an event that is well known. The Santa Cruz competition is one of the oldest in the state and is one of the largest in Northern California, Zuniga explained.
But it was certainly not Cartelli’s first prestigious win. During a summer drum major camp hosted by the United Spirit Association, she was selected as an All-American Drum Major, which means the high school senior was invited to participate in the London New Year’s Day Parade.
If Zuniga is busy assisting a student or doing administrative tasks, Cartelli has been known to get the band going, he said. The team spirit has been especially strong this year, the band director added.
“I love the positive energy that the group is able to go ahead and express,” he said. “Lots of positive energy and just the willingness to go ahead and help each other out.”
Here’s a list of the band’s accomplishments:
Newark Days Parade – in September
2nd place band
1st place color guard
1st place military drum major
Cupertino Tournament of Bands – in October
1st place band
1st place military drum major
Marching sweepstakes
Santa Cruz Band Review – in October
2nd place band
3rd place color guard
Drum major sweepstakes
Lodi Band Review – in November
1st place band
2nd place color guard
1st place military drum major
Central California Band Review – in November
1st place band
1st place color guard
1st place military drum major

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