GOLD prepares for upcoming tournament season

Amy Wang, Editor-in-Chief

Carson Parel (11) preps his horn to play during a practice run of GOLD’s show, Sept. 28. GOLD will compete at the Rancho Bernardo Field Tournament Saturday. Photo by Byron Tran.

GOLD gathered on the rain-slick football field, Sept. 27. For four hours, they drilled movements and played parts of their show in preparation for the first tournament of the year, at Rancho Bernardo, tomorrow. Their performance will be judged on musicality and showmanship, and is the first of many to come before a final championship on Nov. 20.
This year, the GOLD show is titled “The Hive,” and evokes springtime, following an upbeat, buzzy theme.
“Our show is composed of different pieces of music related to bees and spring,” Band President Katie Jacques (12) said. “We have a few pieces from Candide, and Killer Queen, which we’re all very excited to perform.”
To prepare for the upcoming competition, GOLD members worked hard to perfect their skills. Of the four movements of the performance, the three that GOLD has learned so far demand extensive physical and mental training.
“Once we have [learned to march a movement], we add choreography and start running the whole show together,” trumpet player Thomas Chuang (11) said. “Once we do that, we have basically learned all the components of the show, so after that, it’s just fixing small things and perfecting the show.”
While GOLD is almost done learning the show, the process has been difficult at times, Jacques said. The ensemble has been practicing since Aug. 9 and has persevered despite safety restrictions and a lower number of participating students.
With a fresh batch of band students who had never marched before this year, the fact that the ensemble was ready nearly two weeks before the actual competition was a sign of how much time and effort they had collectively put into the endeavor, Chuang said.
“I am really excited to finally be having our first tournament of the year,” he said. “Since we’ve done so much work over the past few months, I can’t wait to see how our effort will pay off.”
For both Jacques and Chuang, this excitement stems partially from fond memories of in-person competition. Chuang said he looks back on pre-pandemic tournaments as some of the best experiences in marching band.
“I remember the first tournament I had freshman year and the rush I felt when finally performing our show for the first time,” he said. “It’s like your mind goes on autopilot and your body just starts to go through the motions and all you remember is you getting on the field and coming off right after. It’s like the same amount of adrenaline you feel when riding a roller coaster.”
For Jacques, the first tournament of the year marks the beginning of a new chapter of camaraderie and collaboration.
“I think with tournaments, there’s always a strong sense of community with your school and your section,” Jacques said. “There’s all these traditions surrounding tournaments that we haven’t been able to do because of the pandemic, so I’m really excited to get back into those.”