Tournament of the Bands

Christina Shao and Saagar Sanghavi

       From nine in the morning to nine in the evening, marching bands and color guards from 22 schools came to compete in the 46th annual Tournament of Bands at Cupertino High School on Oct.8, 2016. Participants ranged from local Bay Area schools to bands from as far away as Oregon. Several middle schools also competed in the tournament.

       Senior Shivani Maisuria is the drum major of the CHS marching band and thus serves as a leader for the members. “Since I was young, I had seen bands lining up on Stevens Creek every year for Tournament of Bands. I always thought that it was so cool! I always wanted to be one of them, and then I became one of them!” Maisuria said.

       The event featured a parade march down Miller Avenue and Stevens Creek Boulevard in the morning, a percussion competition in Main Street in the morning, a “drill-down” in the afternoon, and a field show competition in the evening.

       “Tournament of Bands is like the culmination of the work we’ve done throughout the season,” said junior Ishaan Singhal, band member. “It signifies halfway through the season, and we can compare ourselves to other bands to see what we need to improve.”

        During the field shows, each performance features a unique theme. This year, the CHS band performed a show titled “The Complexion of Emotions,” that was based off of the popular 2016 movie Inside Out. Some schools even incorporated a story into their performance. A favorite among the audience, Branham High School’s show included everything from an Eiffel Tower to a bride throwing a cake at a performer.

       Said an eight-year-old spectator whose older brother performed for Branham High School, “[I came to the Tournament of Bands, because] I wanted to see my brother get hit in the face with the cake!”

       Band students practice so extensively that the movements and sets can become second nature. 

       Said band member and sophomore Shunji Nezu, “Despite it being the performance at Tournament of Bands, for me it was just another run through.”

    The band has worked to improve themselves in marching technique and musical ability over the past two years. “We’ve set higher expectations for ourselves, and Tournament of Bands is a lot more meaningful to us now in that way since we have a lot more to bring,” band member and junior Sam Berdichevsky said.

       Organizing the event proved no easy feat, but the Cupertino Band Boosters benefited from numerous parent and student volunteers. 

       “It feels like we have a really great community sense,” Maisuria said. “There are so many parts that move in order to make this event work, and I feel proud when we have this event because it is our home territory.”

       As a host school, Cupertino aims to foster a successful event overall. “We are the hosts for TOB, so we always represent our school and band well,” Maisuria said “When I  meet other drum majors at awards ceremonies and such, I always say, “Thank you for coming; thank you for giving us a chance to serve you.”

       The event was ultimately a huge success, and the school hopes to continue the great tradition next year.