The Marching Cougars land first in multiple competitions

The RCHS marching band percussion section poses for a picture after practice.

Photo courtesy of Clark Quevedo

The RCHS marching band percussion section poses for a picture after practice.

The Rancho Cucamonga High School Marching Cougars recently competed in four different competitions at Bonita High School, Chaffey High School, Glen A. Wilson High School, and Ramona High School.

   Most recently, the Marching Cougars participated in a competition at Ramona High School on Saturday, Nov. 5. At the competition, the Marching Cougars performed excellently, winning first place in overall band, first place in percussion, and first place in auxiliary. The judges also awarded the Marching Cougars high music effect and high music performance.

 “The students have been doing a great job in overcoming some of the adversity that they’ve faced in the last week. We’re really happy with the outcome of the results and we are hoping to see similar results in the weeks to come,” band director James Ana said.

   In addition to the stellar performance at Ramona High School, the color guard won the first-place auxiliary award at all four competitions. Auxiliary is a traditional band term used in marching bands to symbolize the color guard. For an auxiliary award, the color guard is judged by their composition and performance during the competition.

   “I really feel happy about the fact that we won the award,” sophomore color guard member Josephine Mintah said. “Though it is going to get a lot harder through the season because we’re going to get more work done.”

   The percussion section of the Marching Cougars also received a first-place award at Glen A. Wilson High School on Saturday, Oct. 29. The judges awarded the percussion 84 points, giving them the sweepstakes win.

   “I am proud of the percussion for winning sweepstakes,” freshman Lavina Yousef said. “It was one of our best performances so far.”

   The first competitions of the year, along with the awards, have impacted the band overall, and now they look to improve for future competitions.

   “The determination of the band has been increasing over time,“ Band Director Mr. James Ana said. “But not to win the competitions, the determination is to play to the best of their abilities and put out the best music they can during the competitions”. 

   Ana said the band prepared for the competitions with routine practice. The marching band practiced every Monday and Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. to improve their timing with each other as well as their ability to play productions for future competitions.

   “It wasn’t more or less determination to play better,” junior marching band member Aidan De la Cuba said. “But now I have a sense that we can still play better.”

   De la Cuba explained that he now knows in what ways the band needs to improve; however, practicing for the competitions takes up more time than what he is usually comfortable with.

   According to members of the Marching Cougars, the recent wins had a positive influence on the band.