Band rocks Redlands

Yellowjackets play annual Band Festival at Redlands High, attend clinic to receive support


J. Dollins

Colton High’s wind ensemble plays “Bravada Esprit” on stage at Redlands High’s Clock Auditorium.

Redlands, CA—Concerts are normally for the evening. Not today. This afternoon, the Yellowjacket wind ensemble traveled to Redlands High to participate in the Band Festival. This event, sponsored by the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA), featured a number of bands from middle schools and high schools across the Inland Empire.

The Yellowjackets played three pieces for a panel of judges on the stage of the Clock Auditorium. Two pieces, “Benediction” and “Uproar” have been part of their repertoire since the Fall concert. The third piece, “Bravada Esprit,” is newer to the ensemble.

This performance may well have been the band’s best of the school year, especially on “Uproar,” which opened with a swelling harmony that brought out the best in the players.

“It was really good, I was really proud of them,” Band Director Kenneth Taber said after the performance. “[It was their] first Festival.”

After the performance, the band met with one of the judges in the Redlands band room to discuss their performance, share insights, and provide constructive feedback for future improvement.

For all of the ensemble, this was their first time playing in the SCSBOA Band Festival, and it came with definite nerves. Both Isaac Ornelas and Leah Ornelas talked about how challenging it was waiting between each musical number for word from the judges to continue.

But the end result was one for which the band were proud. “I think it well for my first time,” said Victor Vasquez, leader of the percussion section. “I think we made ourselves proud.”

Julio De La Cruz, first chair for the trombones, also felt things went well, but was able to spot room for improvement. “Overall, it was pretty good. But obviously, ‘Bravado,’ the last piece could have been better if we had more time for it.”

The SCSBOA has been an important organization for California band programs since its establishment in 1937. They provide support to high school bands in the form of professional development for band directors, clinics and workshops for students, and performance evaluations to push band improvement.