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On a Rampage

Marching bands brave rain for prestigious competition

Posted: November 1, 2008 9:13 p.m.
Updated: January 3, 2009 5:00 a.m.

A flute player from Little Rock High School waits outside Cougar Stadium before entering and performing with the marching band at the all-day Rampage event on Saturday.

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Thirty-two high school bands, including all six local schools, packed the stands at Cougar Stadium on Saturday for the 25th annual Rampage.

Bands from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Ventura and Los Angeles counties braved rain to attend the day-long tournament, one of the oldest and most prestigious marching band competitions in California, according to information provided by the Hart Regiment and Colorguard, which sponsors the event.

Fans were geared with umbrellas and jackets as well as school spirit colors. "We were very together," said Julian Ho, freshman at Valencia High School and auxiliary percussionist. "Overall, it was the best run-through we've ever performed."

The Vikings were peppered with rain half way through their performance.

"I think we did pretty good after the hard work we've done and with the rain and everything," said Kimberly Flynn, Valencia High senior and marimba player.

"It's hard to believe we are celebrating Rampage's 25th anniversary," said Anthony Bailey, band director at Hart. "This competition has grown to become one of the most important marching band competitions in the state."

Although they can't place in their own sponsored event, Hart band members were confident about receiving a high score.

"I think we will do much better because we are used to this field and have a lot of support from parents and alumni," said Sean Kiernan, Hart junior and clarinet player.

"We're looking to get a high score to move onto the championships," Kiernan said. Championships are scheduled for early December, according to Kiernan.

"I'm excited because we're playing in our home stadium," said Amanda Cowan, Hart sophomore and flute player.

Hart band members, parents, and staff hosted the competition as they traded food-serving, gate-keeping and ticket-selling tasks along with other volunteer work shifts throughout the day.

One Hart mom selling raffle tickets was excited to see her daughter perform. "This is her senior year," said Carole Carpenter, referring to her daughter Caitlin, a clarinet player.

"They always feel a little sad when it's their last year. They feel like they really have to do well. She is an only child, so (the band) is like her family."

Prior to Valencia High's performance, one father, Enrique Chavez, showed some nervousness over the rain. But Chavez was not surprised when the competition was not canceled.

"This is the kind of thing they work all year for," he said. At sports games, bands get minimal spotlight, but this is the real deal for them, he said.

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