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Congrats to the Clovis East High band

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If you’d told me a couple of years ago I’d be writing that Clovis EAST High School, not Clovis WEST, was the highest scoring local band at the Western Band Association Championships, I would have said your brain was dizzy from standing too close to the cymbals. But that’s what happened Sunday. Clovis East walked away with a third-place win in the overall smaller-bands category, while Clovis West — known for decades as a marching powerhouse — placed 13th in the larger-bands category.

Clovis East’s overall score was 88.85, while Clovis West received 82.35.

Congratulations are also in order for Visalia’s El Diamante High School, which scored 12th overall in the bigger-band category, also nudging out Clovis West.

In the smaller-band category, some Valley schools did quite well, including Madera High School at No. 7 with a score of 83.95 (also ahead of Clovis West), Madera South High School at No. 8 with a score of 80.10, and Los Banos High School at No. 9 with a score of 79.45.

I can’t claim to have my finger close to the pulse of the local band scene this season, so maybe Clovis East’s success wasn’t all that much of a shocker, but I for one am really surprised. What’s the word, band insiders? Was this a major upset?

I attended the bigger-band semi-finals on Saturday and didn’t get a chance to see Clovis East on the field, but I was impressed with many of the other schools I saw perform, including Clovis High School, whose plumed hats as part of their new uniforms are pretty nifty.

I’m always impressed with how much time and effort these thousands of band members put into competing in a big championship gathering such as this. I ended up chatting with Linda Shelton, a Clovis band booster, whose son, Ryan, was playing flute on the field.

Most schools start practicing in August with two weeks of band camp. During the school year, out-of-class rehearsals are intense, too: Three hours a couple of nights a week, plus all day Saturday. We watched the Clovis routine, which would be the last time the seniors would compete, and Shelton stood there, transfixed.

“That’s the best I’ve seen them do,” she said, a big smile breaking across her face.

The big winner for the weekend with the highest overall score was the nearly invincible James Logan High School from Union City, which scored a whopping 97.70. The show was done to a theme of “Where the Wild Things Are,” and from the first moment on the field — when the musicians settled with a pounce by sitting cross-legged in various crouches and poses — there was an amazingly distinctive, animalistic flow to every movement. The marching was as smooth as dance, and the music had a vivid, sophisticated quality that almost made me feel as if were listening to it inside. When various band members started taking running starts and actually tumbling on the field, gymnastics-style, I was in awe. The James Logan band managed to wow me once again.

Responses to "Congrats to the Clovis East High band"

Heather says:

When I was in high school, before plumed hats were invented, we Clovis High Cougars could never catch a break against Clovis West. For all of my four years in the colorguard, we came in second to Clovis West, unless Logan showed up, and then we placed third.

My hatred for the CW band has not waned with age. Much props to Clovis East.

Sandy Nax says:

It was bittersweet watching my daughter at Clovis High take the field for her last time. This was the best Clovis High show in the four years she’s been associated with the program.

Brent Moser says:

Congratulations to Clovis East on their strong showing! I am, of course, proud of all of the CUSD bands. I saw all 5 of the CUSD bands (and the 5 CUSD Intermediate Bands) last week on display during CUSD Band Day at Buchanan’s Veteran’s Memorial Field. The time, effort, discipline and energy it takes to create these shows is amazing. A dedicated group! Kudos to all the directors and their students and staffs.

Barbara Yaklin says:

Clovis East received 2nd place in the same category at the WBA Championships last year in the Bay Area. This is the second year in a row that these hard working Clovis East kids have medaled in this competition.

Donald Munro says:

Thanks for the info. Do you know if Clovis East had ever scored more points in a competition than Clovis West before?

Ricky Lee says:

Not to bust anyone’s bubble (and this is late in response) but Clovis East is in 3A and Clovis West in in 5A. Separate scoring systems. Where’s the love for Clovis High in 2006 when they scored a 91.05 at the 1A/2A/3A Finals compared to Clovis West’s 90.26 from the 4A/5A Finals?

Donald Munro says:

Separate scoring, yes, but do judges have a different standard when evaluating the smaller bands? Or do all the bands get scored on the same 100-point scale? Generally speaking, smaller bands get lower overall raw scores. That suggests the same scoring system is used for all bands and the raw numbers can indeed be compared across the board. I’m not sure about this but would appreciate more info.

Also, your comment isn’t logical. If there are separate scoring systems for larger and smaller bands, as you say, why do you then go on to compare Clovis and Clovis West’s scores from 2006? You can’t have it both ways.