Ah, the thorny issue of “My kid’s high school band is better than yours.” A Merced reader named Matt responds to my recent post congratulating El Diamante and Clovis West high schools for fine marching band seasons:
I enjoyed your article, especially since my son is now a member of the Bulldog Marching Band. However, with a little more homework you would have found that the best marching band in Northern California is in Merced. The Golden Valley Cardinal Regime went undefeated in parade competition for 6+ years. That is quite an undefeated winning streak. This year, with close to 200 members and a new director, their sweepstakes streak was broken in their first event in Antioch. However, they bounced back to start a new streak by winning sweepstakes at Cupertino and Santa Cruz. In addition, they’ve recently been in the Rose Parade (2009) and this Sunday will march in the Hollywood Christmas parade.
Sometimes I wish the whole marching band competition thing wasn’t so complicated. It’s not like a high-school football playoff schedule where there’s one eventual champion.
There are different styles of bands (corps style vs. military style vs. show style). And bands pick and choose which competitions they enter. I don’t know much about the Golden Valley band, but it appears as if it concentrates on street-parade competitions and not field shows. (My high school band did the same, so I’m very familiar with the concept.) It’s very hard to compare Golden Valley and Clovis West, say, because they do such different things. Any band members or fans out there care to weigh in? Does the Golden Valley Cardinal Regime of Merced deserve top billing over such bands as El Diamante and Clovis West, as the reader suggests?
Pictured: The Golden Valley band at the 2009 Rose Parade.