Poway Rotary Parade offers GOLD opportunity for growth

Byron Tran, News Editor

The trombone section preps their horns to play a cadence of the Patriotic Parade Sequence. Drumline queues the band throughout the march to indicate when to play. Photo by Caitlynn Hauw.

Westview GOLD participated in the 56th Annual Poway Rotary Parade, previously known as the Poway Days Parade, Sept. 11. Both GOLD’s competitive and non-competitive marching bands performed in the event, playing Patriotic Parade Sequence, arranged by Paul Lavender.
With COVID-19 restrictions preventing a parade from happening last year, GOLD needed to acclimate more newcomers up to standard. Jaden Nisperos (10), a tuba and sousaphone player, said he was apprehensive about marching in a parade for the first time.
“At first a sense of nervousness erupted in me, and I almost forgot what we were playing when we first stepped off,” Nisperos said. “But after a few seconds, I realized we had already started the parade, and the nerves slowly went away. Unfortunately, as my nerves decreased, the heat increased, so much so, that you could feel the warmth rising up from the asphalt beneath us. I was informed to bring extra water because of how hot it was going to be, but I never really took it seriously until I immediately learned the hard way.”
According to Drum Major Daniel Tran (11), the parade acts as a catalyst for growth for the band. Parade marching allows the incoming members to apply the basic marching skills they have been learning without the complexity of field marching and offers an opportunity for the returners to refresh their skills.
“[As the parade takes place a couple months before any major tournament,] the Poway Days Parade makes excellent practice in the precision of marching technique within the band,” Tran said. “Unlike on the field, there are no lines and markings to tell us what our positions are on the parade route. Instead, a reliance on each other and acquired expertise—such as proper step sizes, posture, and etiquette—are furthered greatly in this event.”
After making the switch from marching flute to joining color guard, Tiffany Way (12) said she felt the pressure to perform despite the drastic changes. She attributes the pressure to personal standards and her long history with GOLD.
“As a previous band student and senior, I feel as though I have internalized the desire to not only prove to myself but to others that I fit in with guard,” Way said. “Of course, everyone makes mistakes, and as a newbie, there is definitely a little more leniency, but that doesn’t stop me from doubting myself or feeling even more pressure any time I miss a toss.”
Through the pressure, Way managed to look forward to the event; knowing that this will be her last time performing for the Poway Rotary Parade, she wanted to make it worthwhile.
“Though it was hot and I was drenched with sweat by the end of the parade, I was happy to be able to perform at this parade one last time,” Way said. “Color guard has been an incredibly fun and educational experience so far, and I’m thankful that I am able to be a part of a group of such talented individuals.”
Likewise, Nisperos eventually pushed past the nerves, allowing him to cherish the experience in retrospect to see the bigger picture he was a part of.
“For the most part, I really enjoyed the Poway Parade,” Nisperos said. “It was great seeing the community coming back together and celebrating for the first time in almost a year. I really enjoyed seeing all of the people cheering on the sidewalks as we marched by, and the feeling of being able to perform and make it a memorable experience for them made the experience just a little bit better.”
According to Tran, on top of the experience gained, the Poway Rotary Parade offers GOLD an opportunity to celebrate those in the community who support their program.
“Although the weather each year is daunting, performing alongside all the other PUSD marching bands and with our community is an amazing feeling,” Tran said. “The whole purpose of us being there each year is to give back to our community who supports our strong music programs here at Westview and in our brother and sister schools in PUSD. This year’s parade was especially monumental as it took place on the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 and was the first Poway Days Parade since 2019. For these reasons, the members of Westview Gold, including myself, are proud to brave the temperatures and opportunity surrounding the Poway Days Parade and support our community in this event.”