Keeping Pace With Marching Band

Updates on Marching Band This Year and What Is To Come


Sydney Wolfe

The marching band walks on the field to play the national anthem for the homecoming game. They play at every game and will preform the half time show again at the Mission Viejo game on October 22.

Alyssa Morrone, Staff Writer

During every football game, the drumline leading the team out to play the national anthem with the marching band is the signifying moment that officially begins the game. Here at San Juan Hills, our marching band has been a part of games since the start, and they are a necessary aspect to encourage the players and audience alike.

This year, the marching band continues to perform under music director, Dean McElroy. They have played every home game, with halftime shows featuring songs In the Stone and After the Love is Gone by Earth, Wind, and Fire, and Chicago’s 25 or 6 to 4. They also play “pep tunes”, or short excerpts from popular songs, as well as the fight song during timeouts and pep rallies.

This group is full of fun and amazing people who I am so glad I got the chance to meet. We do so many cool things here, and I hope I get to make many more unforgettable memories before I graduate”

— Charlotte Riesgo

Students in the marching band face a large commitment as they must both memorize songs and march in sync to them with limited time to practice between each performance. However, the payoff is thrilling as students get the chance to perform their talent in front of all their peers, as well as gain physical exercise and learn musical techniques.

“This group is full of fun and amazing people who I am so glad I got the chance to meet. We do so many cool things here, and I hope I get to make many more unforgettable memories before I graduate,” said Charlotte Reisgo, a senior in the marching band.

This year, the marching band, like most things, has been modified to fit the district’s COVID regulations. All instrument players must wear a mask indoors, with wind instrument players using a modified mask, called a bell cover, that allows them to play their instruments while still keeping their face covered. 

The newest recently implemented change is that all students must receive a weekly COVID test, including those vaccinated, to continue playing in an indoor environment. Capistrano Unified also requires that all non-wind instruments rehearsing with these groups must also receive a weekly screening.

Apart from COVID-related changes, the marching band has also faced changes in location. They have been moved from their usual spot in the stands to the side field where they have been playing pep tunes for games in recent weeks. 

This change is due to the tremendous increase in student attendance at the first home game, causing a need for a larger student section. To set up marching band on the field is not uncommon, and many other high schools such as San Clemente High School organize their band in this way.

This change has brought backlash from students, however, who claim that their overall game experience is diminished by being sidelined during games and that they feel unfairly pushed from focus.

Despite pushbacks and new regulations, the band has continued to practice and play in support of our football team and the school as a whole, creating long-lasting memories for students in the program.

Marching band is an incredibly unique experience that offers a sport, an academic hobby, and an overall impactful experience that benefits the students involved and strengthens the school as a whole.

We can expect more shows from them during the next few home games, and any future games that follow if our football team continues past play-offs. Next time you go to see a game, stick around a little longer during halftime to support the band and enjoy the performance.