Poly’s Marching Band

On Wednesday, November 17, Poly High School’s marching unit performed in the annual Band Spectacular.

The Band Spectacular is a performance that allows all of the marching bands and color guard teams across the Long Beach Unified School District to showcase their field shows. This year, the Band Spectacular show was held at Cabrillo High School.

Before the event started at 6:30 p.m., the Long Beach City College Viking Show

Band, as well as the LBCC Jazz Big Band, performed a variety of songs, like “Mic Drop” by BTS, “Time Warp” from the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and “bad guy” by Billie Eillish.

At 6:30, Renaissance High School student Blessel Caballero performed the National Anthem alongside Cabrillo’s JROTC. Then, the Cabrillo Marching Jaguars went on and performed their set “Latin Closer”.

Next, the Lakewood High School Regiment performed their collection of Earth, Wind, and Fire songs, doing lively versions of “In The Stone”, “After the Love Has Gone”, and “September”. Ryanne Sanchez, a sophomore in the HOSM program at Lakewood High School, said “I loved ‘After the Love Has Gone’. I liked the trumpet and saxophone solos, and I liked the drill that went with the song.”

Wilson Marching Bruins came on third to perform their collection “Artworks”, with a vivid and energetic show. Performing fourth was the Jordan Entertainment Group with another collection of Earth, Wind, and Fire music. Apinya Imon, an 11th grade cymbals player from Jordan in the AIMS program, said, “During the show, I was very nervous and anxious, but I am very proud of our performance.”

The Poly marching unit performed fifth in the show, and blew the audience away with the story of “Scheherazade,” their 2021 field show. The unit created amazing movements, with their synchronized footwork shifting into pictures of ribbons and diamonds. The color guard elegantly spun their colorful flags and rifles to combine their movements with that of the marching unit.

I felt great the night of Band Spectacular! I’ve fallen in love with Scheherazade, and savored every moment we performed of it. I especially felt great since events like Band Spectacular are a huge way to represent Poly’s amazing music program and I hope we inspired middle schoolers in the audience to want to join this life-changing program,” said Abby Crisostomo, a CIC sophomore who plays clarinet for the marching unit. “I am tremendously proud of our performance. I’d say it felt ‘spectacular’!” they added.

Many other Poly students in the audience were wowed by the performances too. Oliver Ray Mojarro, PARTS sophomore, said, “I liked seeing the Poly band. I think that Poly performed the best. Poly was very precise and entertaining. I am so proud of Poly’s marching band. They did amazing and all of their hard work through so many hours definitely paid off.”

The show wouldn’t be what it was without the hard work and dedication from the marching unit crew. Chris Stevens, the marching unit director, put so much work into organizing the band and their music with the assistant unit directors Casey Gillett and Sam Perez. Tom Hughes and Ethan Gathe worked with the drumline and front ensemble to help them perfect their sound, tying the show together. The unit’s drill designer Bobby Frey was responsible for the beautiful shapes the band formed and showcased, alongside Perez who choreographed the unit. They helped in creating the greatness of the show, with intricate dances and truly dialing into the details. Gillett was also the color guard instructor, who helped the color guard performance shine.

Lastly, Millikan finished off with an interesting and techno filled performance of their set, “The Grid”. They incorporated visuals, like lightsticks, and audio, with a voiceover before each performance, into the show.

Finally, at the end of the night, the unit joined all of the other schools and played two final songs. They started by playing “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey before they finished off the show with a performance of “You’re a Grand Old Flag”.

Overall, the entire show was a fun time for all. It was exciting getting to see the marching programs of LBUSD bounce back after a year and a half of being online. “My favorite part of the night was meeting fellow musicians from other schools, talking and consulting with them, and making friends with them. It made me feel a part of something,” said Imon.

The Poly marching unit once again displayed their good sportsmanship, impressive skills, beautiful talent, and hard work, truly showing why the marching band is having such a successful year, earning High Percussion in the 4A Division and High Music at the WUHSD Field Tournament.