Charter’s ‘Superior’ Band Takes Home Another Win!

Kara Warren, Clubs Editor

   What’s created in the band room can only inspire. The mellow notes hit by each and every player, only made a reality due to the hours of dedication to their craft is unlike any other organization at Charter. And for what may feel like the millionth time they’ve won, the school’s band has managed to take home straight ‘superiors’ at MPA, the Music Performance Assessment.

   The assessment is an annual musical performance presented to a group of judges for evaluation. This year, the school band performed their marching show, Memento Nos. Under new leadership and a demanding practice schedule, they were only bound for success over the weekend. 

   Gabriella Tolentino, one of the junior student conductors, was nothing but excited for her second win at MPA while representing the school band. “When we received our scores, I remember feeling a rush of excitement flowing through me, almost like adrenaline. I was so proud of us and we deserve it after all our hard work.” But to keep this straight superior record, Gabriella knows that it’ll require the same amount of time and drive. “We’re going to continue to practice often and dedicate ourselves to what we do. That can mean practicing our show music and visuals [on] our own time, or even just simply coming to rehearsals with the right mindset! Practice makes perfect, in addition to teamwork and commitment.”

When we received our scores, I remember feeling a rush of excitement flowing through me, almost like adrenaline.”

— Gabriella Tolentino

   She admitted how rigorous their practice schedule can be, but their efforts were not wasted. “We practice at least twice a week, and sometimes during school hours to work on our show. We also practice on weekends and we also hold sectionals [on our own time] to work on individual material.” Knowing that so many students wouldn’t be able to manage such a demanding practice schedule only makes the satisfaction of the performance coming together that much greater. 

   When Mr. Espinosa, Charter’s band director, was asked how it felt after receiving their overall grading score, he replied, “Validating! It’s kind of difficult to stay motivated especially when you don’t get a lot of feedback. Our first competition was at the beginning of October and then MPA was at the end of October. So we had 3-4 weeks where we were just pushing, pushing, pushing!”       

   After attending several Music Performance Assessments, as both a performer and director, he realized the satisfaction of seeing the pride worn on everyone’s faces—students and instructors alike. “Sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what we’re going for. And getting to that, getting to MPA, and getting straight superiors was very validating and it showed that all the work we did was worth it.”

   Ms. Rodriguez, Mr. Espinosa’s assistant director, added on, “It was a huge relief, to validate the work we’ve done as teachers and all the work the students put in. It motivates them when they’re not sure why they’re doing it.” Not just making the event another victory for the Pines Charter band students, but teaching them that dedication and practice do make a difference.

It was a huge relief, to validate the work we’ve done as teachers and all the work the students put in.”

— Ms. Rodriguez

   Though they spend so much time working to meet this one goal, it’s easy to discount them for all they do. Whether they’re marching on the football field under the beaming sun or learning different songs to appeal to their student body, the band’s last MPA made one thing clear: “pressure makes diamonds!” And after weeks and weeks of preparation, planning, and practice, the Pines Charter band was able to clutch straight superiors for yet another year.