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Our View: SCV bands represent valley well

The Signal Editorial Board

Posted: December 9, 2010 9:01 p.m.
Updated: December 10, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Hart High School’s Hart Regiment performs at the Wildcat Classic at Valencia High School on Oct. 9. On Saturday, the band and color guard won its ninth consecutive state championship in its division.

 

In this publication and in other venues around the Santa Clarita Valley, it’s high school sports that most seize the limelight.

We at The Signal also make every effort to keep our readers informed about the goings-on of academic programs in this valley’s fine schools.

But sometimes other programs deserve recognition. That’s the case today as we salute the excellent band programs around the SCV.

According to Roger Brooks, Golden Valley High School’s band director, every high school in the William S. Hart Union High School District that went out for a championship this year qualified for competition.

Ours is the only school district in Southern California that can make that claim.

Among all this excellence, Hart High’s band, Hart Regiment, especially deserves notice.

On Saturday, Hart’s Regiment won another state championship in its division at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association competition. It marked the school’s ninth consecutive championship win.

The school has won its division every year since the championships were created in 2002. No other school in Southern California has ever done that, according to the school’s website.

Not to be outdone, the still-young West Ranch and Golden Valley high school bands also have excelled.

West Ranch’s marching band is only five years old, but it has nearly tripled in size from 60 to almost 150 students.

At October’s Rampage competition, the Wildcat band and color guard won the Judge’s Sweepstakes Award and first place in both High Auxiliary (for visual components) and High General Effect.

Golden Valley’s marching band qualified for the field championships for the second year in a row (only the top 12 qualify) and finished ninth in its division.

The success of the band programs in the SCV is a testament to the hard work and dedication of directors such as Brooks and Hart’s Anthony Bailey, as well as their staffs.

These tireless educators spend countless hours giving their students a solid foundation in music, teaching them to play instruments and preparing them for competition.

The success of our bands also is a testament to the dedication of students, who often must audition for a spot, then must balance rehearsals with a rigorous academic load in one of the top school districts in the state.

And it speaks volumes about the dedication of band parents and boosters who support the young musicians and help them raise money for day-to-day needs and  competitions.

The importance of supporting music programs in our schools can’t be understated. Studies consistently have shown that students who study music do better in subjects as diverse as math and foreign languages and they produce higher test scores.

Students who play music learn important life skills such as good study habits, self-discipline and the ability to work together as a team.

And students who participate in school music programs also gain important social skills and a sense of belonging to a group. These all are skills they can take with them and apply in the future.

Supporting music programs also is important for economic reasons.

When our bands travel to competitions across the state, or when they perform in venues across the country, they are carrying the name of the Santa Clarita Valley with them. When they represent us well, and when they succeed, they make a powerful impression.

One of the first things prospective industry leaders look at when considering whether to locate to a community is that community’s school system and overall quality of life.

Our bands’ success provides our community with valuable goodwill.

We have much to be proud of within our local school system, both academically and athletically.

Our fine bands rank right up there on the top of the excellence scale.

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