Band Presents Show ‘Believe’ at Second Annual March-A-Thon

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  • Caroline Zhuang ’23 plays the marimba. Zhuang finds football games and performances such as the March-A-Thon fun and exciting as band gets to perform their show. “[The marimba] has a lot of interesting note patterns,” Zhuang said.

  • Atalie Farnsworth ’22 plays the marimba. The March-a-Thon’s theme for this year was believe, where they got to play Christmas songs. “[The Christmas songs] makes us connect to the show a lot better because all of us can think about a holiday that we know of around that time,” Farnsworth said.

  • Cole Broberg ’22 and Peter McGuinness ’21 playing on the rack. McGuinness and Broberg also play the clarinet and bass clarinet respectively. “What I like about playing on rack is that we get to have a lot of the cool back beats,” McGuinness said.

  • The percussion section plays their part as the colorguards wave their flags behind them. Some of the colorguards had blue flags with snowflakes on them.

  • April Gao ’20 dances to the music. Gao danced solo. “I love working hard towards a common goal with a lot of people who are diverse and coming together to see that finished product is very rewarding,” Gao said.

  • Oriana Yates ’20 performs a colorguard routine with a rifle. Rifles are Yates’ favorite part of colorguard. “I love how [Believe] brings lots of hype and Christmas spirit,” Yates said.

  • Drum major Sophia Castaneda ’20 conducts a song played by the bands of Canyon Vista Middle School, Grisham Middle School, and Westwood. Grisham’s beginner band students were in the audience as they watched the Grisham students in Honors and Symphonic Band perform.

  • Band Director Thomas Turpin introduces the show to the audience. During his introduction, he thanked sponsors for sponsoring the March-A-Thon. “I was so happy with how the kids performed and the progress they made during the rehearsal today,” Mr. Turpin said.

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The second annual March-A-Thon took place at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex on Saturday, Sept. 21. The highly anticipated fundraiser marks one of the first public performances for the Westwood Warrior Marching Band outside of football games. The day of March-A-Thon consisted of a four hour rehearsal followed by a performance for anticipating guests. 

“Our long, grueling four hour rehearsal leading up to the performance was the most satisfying part of the day. The whole band was excited to show the public what we’ve worked for, and seeing the reactions to our show was gratifying,” Pranjal Adhikari ‘20 said. 

This year’s band show is called Believe and is Christmas-themed. Many of the tunes heard throughout the performance are traditional Christmas songs. Medleys and combinations of holiday songs are also scattered throughout the show. The uniforms differ greatly from last year’s, as the theme of last year’s show was more focused on the Galaxy. 

“I think we all like our uniforms this year; they represent our higher music ability and are very advanced. We have shako wraps which we didn’t have before. Also, we have more parts to the uniform which look awesome,” Aditya Jandhyala ‘22 said. 

In addition to the themed-uniforms, this year’s props also reflect the Christmas theme. There are multiple presents sprinkled throughout the field as well as Christmas trees, a sled and paneling to represent snow. 

“The props add to the show as people are able to experience a visual aspect of the Christmas theme. The props are exciting especially for me because I think that they are more interesting than last year’s props,” Linsy Stephen ‘22 said. 

Canyon Vista and Grisham, the two middle schools which feed into Westwood, also had their 7th and 8th grade band members present at March-a-Thon. The Westwood, Canyon Vista and Grisham bands performed a rendition of Land of a Thousand Dances at the beginning of the overall performance. 

“Although the middle schoolers were able to experience playing with Westwood Band members, I wish we had the opportunity to interact with them and show them more of what being in high school band is like,” said Connor Galley ‘20. 

The success of the fundraiser and performance were contingent on the endless donations by friends and family and hard work put in by the band members. Out of the $70,000 goal, the band was able to raise an astounding $68,062. 

“The first $30,000 we raised will go to the Westwood Area Band Booster general budget, middle school campuses, private lessons and scholarship opportunities. The rest of the money will be dedicated to our semi-truck trailer, props for our show and buying new equipment for future shows,” said Thomas Turpin, the Director of Bands. 

The band members were highly motivated throughout the entire process, which was shown through their performance. This year’s show theme has played a role in how excited students have been; in other words, Christmas spirit has been carrying performers throughout the marching season.

“I’m really excited about the show – it looks and sounds really good. I can tell that everyone else is excited as well. I think we put in a lot of work at our 4 hour rehearsal and it shows. Overall, this year will be successful for us,” drum major Will Sedberry ‘20 said.