by Rebecca Do and Sarah Yoo
The Fountain Valley Royal Regiment performed their field show “Stranded” at Huntington Beach High School in the California State Band Championships on Nov. 20.
The band had two shows that day: one in the afternoon for their division and one in the evening for open class. For their first show, FVRR placed second in Division 4A with a score of 89.95 and earned the “High Percussion” award. Their high scoring allowed them to compete in open class later that day. Their second performance for Open Class State Finals earned them a score of 90.775 and fifth place overall.
“It was pretty great. Everyone did their best. We definitely overcame all the challenges and practiced all weekend … I’m happy about it,” drum set player and senior Jacky Chen said.
For many, it was their last performance in FVRR. The band will be losing a great chunk of their seniors in the upcoming season. Many said their tearful goodbyes to the program that night with salutations to their underclassmen.
“It’s really sad that this is my last year with the program but it feels like my time has come. I cannot be with this program forever,” head drum major senior Jacob Baker said. “I would love to come back and help out any way I can but I need to move on and give the reins to people who are more able to do their job.”
Many band members believe they had a successful season despite facing many obstacles coming out of the pandemic. There were coronavirus scares and issues with most of the band being small and inexperienced, but the FVRR pushed through. Throughout the 2021 CSBC year, they had made consecutive wins and every member made it their goal to make their last show their best, regardless of their score.
“We just hoped to have a season. We didn’t know what it would look like and we thought it might be interrupted and instead, we put together a really great competitive product,” band director Maxwell Lowe said. “We pushed the limits of what we would be able to do and it went about as well as I could’ve possibly imagined so I’m very happy with the season we had.”
However, the FVRR competed knowing they would face an unfortunate judging panel. Receiving sixth in percussion with an overall score of 89 when compared to previous competitions where they had consecutively received the “High Percussion” award with scores over 90.
There were microphone issues during the afternoon run, cutting out the entire clarinet and flute solo in the middle of the show, which may have contributed to the lower score at that time and cost them the soloist award for Division 4A.
“The first one [afternoon run] was okay, but the second one was really good. Everyone did amazing and I’m proud of everyone; I think that we put our best effort,” flute soloist senior Clare Duquette said. “It was really fun, I had an amazing solo partner … I think it would’ve been really cool if we had won the soloist award, but since we didn’t, I think we won it in our hearts.”
Despite coming out of the pandemic and the difficulties they faced before and during the field season, FVRR persisted and had a great season, winning caption awards at every show until the Championships.