Band Places First at Vista Ridge Marching Festival


Mindy McDonough

The band won first place with their show, Beyond the Brick, at the Vista Ridge Marching Festival. The show portrayed elements of the Wizard of Oz using brick props and pillars.

On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Westwood Warrior Marching Band placed first at the Vista Ridge Marching Festival. Twenty-five bands competed, with ten continuing on to finals. 

“The competition went really well,” Lauren De La Torre ‘25 said. “It was super nice to perform with all of my friends and see that all of the hard work we have been putting in has been paying off.”

This year, the band’s show entitled Beyond the Brick utilized pillars and brick props to portray elements of the Wizard of Oz. The show opened with a familiar rendition of Yellow by Coldplay, followed by musical selections by Metallica, Elton John, and the Rolling Stones.

“Everything about [the show theme] is just so well thought out, so intelligent,” drum major Katie Forshay ‘23 said. “I really like that we kind of keep it really simple, and I feel like Wizard of Oz, especially for the largely parental audience, is a really good idea because it provides a sense of nostalgia for them and it’s really cool to be able to provide that feeling.”

The band was named class champion in the preliminary round and won awards for Outstanding General Effect, Outstanding Visual Performance, and Outstanding Music Performance for prelims. 

“I’m glad to be able to get sweepstakes, and it’s kind of a nice way to reward all of the hard work that we’ve done for a long time,” Forshay said. “It’s a tangible way for the kids to see that our work does mean something.”

The band performed at finals at 9:00 p.m., placing first out of ten bands with a score of 87.8. They ranked first in music and general effect for the finals round, as well. 

“I honestly was a bit skeptical about the finals run because I felt we were a little bit unfocused and kind of more on the less serious side, but then when we got on the field, it was like something just clicked and we absolutely kicked butt,” Forshay said.

Out of the 11 years that the Vista Ridge Marching Festival has been around, this is the first time that a band has won first place for two years in a row. 

“Us starting a legacy is also super interesting, but stressful at the same time. It just means that we will have to do this again for the times to come,” De La Torre said. 

The band performed the first three parts of their show at the competition, with an additional fourth part to be added for future competitions. They have been adding to their show since the early days of band camp in July. 

“I’m really excited to see how our show turns out,” Lyla Caballero ‘26 said. “From what we’ve gotten so far, I think we have a really good chance of doing super well this season.”

The band will next compete at the UIL Region Marching Contest at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex on Tuesday, Oct. 11.