School Marching Band Competes for the First Time Since 2019

By Nikole Farina, Clarion Staff Reporter

On November 6, John F. Kennedy’s marching band and color guard competed at the 43rd Grape Bowl Classic in Lodi, California.  School marching bands from around the Valley and Northern California gathered to compete and share their love of music.  Kennedy music teachers Jeremy Hammond and Bryan Stroh provide this opportunity annually for band students, who put a lot of time and effort into performing to the best of their abilities.  This includes daily practice and frequent sectional rehearsals over several weeks.

The band won third place against Antelope and Elk Grove.  Though this may seem like a tough loss, after many hours of practice and rigor the band learned so much from their competition and got closer to each other.  

 “We’re very happy about it and I think we did really well.  We had so much fun and that’s the important part.”  said Allison Arroyo, a senior flute player in the Kennedy band.

At the beginning of the school year, Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) put a restriction on field trips as part of their COVID-19 protocols.  The Marching Band was affected by this about a week before their scheduled competition.  Despite Cougar athletics being able to travel during Fall season, PACE and Marching Band were locked out from their usual field trip opportunities. The conflict was stuck in a stalemate until the district worked it out and ultimately Band was allowed to go.  

Wyatt Metzger and Hunter Lovitt, seniors in the band, expressed their gratitude and joy about being able to attend the competition.  

“They were almost not going to let us have anything, and it was very exciting hearing that we would actually be able to go,”  Metzger explained.

John F. Kennedy marching band preforms at the Grape Bowl in Lodi, California on November 11, 2021. Screenshot captured by Regis Farina.

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