Marching Blue Streak Band finishes assessment strongly


Ethan Swift

Seniors and band leaders Alice McNett and Claudia Obenschain lead the marching band to the football field during a home football game.

Oct. 26, 2019, the Marching Blue Streak Band traveled to Monticello High School in Charlottesville, Va. to perform at the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association State Marching Band Assessment (VBODA). 23 other schools attended the assessment. While performing in front of seven judges, the Streaks were prepared to perform with high energy, according to marching band member sophomore Kim Portillo.

“The adrenaline before and after the performance was my favorite part. The energy played a huge role into our superior rating. Feeling a rush of energy throughout the performance made everything we have done this season worth it,” Portillo said. 

After warming up for a little over an hour, the marching band performed at 5:00 p.m., being the second to last school to be assessed. Portillo felt like her and other marching band members had more time to prepare while performing so close to the end. 

“It was good because we didn’t have to be here so early and didn’t get home so late. I did enjoy having it in the afternoon because it gave us a lot of time to prepare mentally,” Portillo said. 

From the seven judges the marching band performed in front of, the Marching Blue Streaks received straight superiors. Superior is the highest rating a band can receive in a category, followed by excellent, good, fair and poor. Each band is judged in four different categories: which are music, visual, music effect and visual effect. Three judges scored music while two scored visual and two judges each judged music effect and visual effect. Portillo feels proud about all the marching band’s hard work. 

“Getting all superiors felt really good. It really boosted our confidence as a band,” Portillo said. “It’s made us feel like all the effort we are putting in has really paid off. We spend a lot of hours doing what we do and it [has] finally paid off.”

The school year has led success for the Blue Streak Marching Band through various competitions they’ve attended. Previously, the Streaks has received two first place awards and received second place through attending a total of four competitions. The Marching Blue Streak Band is halfway through the process of receiving the prestigious status of Virginia Honor Band, a title they have only received eight times previously. 

The Blue Streak Marching Band season is close to an end with the Streaks only performing their show, The Pale Blue Dot, one more time. This last time will be on senior night on Nov. 8 at the home football game.

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