The Newspaper of Irvington High School

The Irvington Voice

The Newspaper of Irvington High School

The Irvington Voice

The Newspaper of Irvington High School

The Irvington Voice

Lincoln Band Review 2023: The Rainbow After the Storm

Serena Luk
The marching band dons plastic ponchos and begins their performance amidst the rain.

On November 20, the Irvington Varsity and Junior Varsity bands and color guards participated in the final band review of the season at Lincoln High School in Stockton. The day got off to a rough start when one of the six buses that was supposed to transport band members to the band review failed to arrive, forcing students to cram into the remaining buses. 

Upon reaching Lincoln High School, the bands ran into another issue: the rapidly worsening weather. Weather reports had predicted overcast skies and rain throughout the day, but nothing at the time of the band’s scheduled warm-up run and performance. However, a light drizzle soon escalated into steady rain, catching the bands off guard. Luckily, band review volunteers took caution and packed plastic ponchos. Band members scrambled to put on their ponchos prior to the warm-up run, causing a 20-minute-delay in the performance schedule. 

“With rain, there’s usually a lot of wind which blows the air out of the instruments, so players have to blow into open instruments a lot harder to get sound out,” shared Varsity Drum Major William Bai (12). “As for me individually, I have to spin and toss a mace which gets very slippery in the rain, so it’s a bit harder to control.”

Despite the unideal weather circumstances, both bands and color guards pulled off exceptional performances.

After the parade performance, the Irvington drumline began their own competition which is judged in a separate category, playing the song “Radioactive” by the band Imagine Dragons. Although the drumline had struggled in the past due to a lack of proper instruction, this year they showed significant and continuous improvement, consistently placing within the top two in their division.

“Over the past three years that I’ve been in drumline we’ve gotten a lot better and the program itself has gotten a lot better,” says Drumline Captain Brayden Louie (12). “Even though this is my last year, I think that we have what it takes to win next year.”

The day ended with an awards ceremony in Lincoln High School’s Football stadium where the rankings were announced and awards were distributed. Being seated in open bleachers, attendees were again exposed to a light drizzle that quickly turned into a heavy downpour, leaving everyone soaked. 

In spite of these inconveniences, the Irvington Varsity Band and Guard secured the sweepstakes awards in the music, showmanship, marching, drum major, and colorguard categories, notably the highest placement in their respective division.

However, just like the beginning of the Lincoln band review, the marching season had begun with a rocky start due to various different factors. While the band had done extremely well last year with a victorious streak of winning sweepstakes at every single competition, the trend of this year’s season was more of an upwards climb. 

“I feel like Varsity this year was a bit too large so there was a lot to handle and it was difficult to maintain the level that we had before,” shares Varsity member Yao En Huang (12). 

Due to the larger size of the band, there was a lesser sense of accountability amongst members. Furthermore, the expectations of winning from the start had carried over from the previous year, so there was an initial lack of effort from band members and low levels of attendance at after school practices.

“We hit our wakeup call around the middle of the season, at the CCBR and Foothill band reviews,” says JV Drum Major Julia Fung (11). “At that moment, everyone decided that we needed to put 150% into our efforts.”

Once members started to realize the gap between the expectations and reality of their scoring, things began to change for the better. 

“The band had a definite improvement towards the latter half of the season,” recounts Bai “as we started placing lower than we thought we would, we grew in concentration and a lot more people started showing up to practice and working harder.”

Irvington’s Color Guard also experienced a similar trend throughout the season. 

“At the beginning of the season we had a rough start because the choreography was very fast-paced and challenging for some of us, especially those who are new and trying to adapt to a new environment,” says Varsity Guard Captain Bryanna Ho (12).

Looking back on a marching season full of determination and the overcoming of various obstacles, it seems that band members’ hard work has paid off. For all seniors in marching band this was their final band review and time to reflect on all the time and effort that they had dedicated to the program from weeks over the summer to three days a week during the school year and the close-knit community that they had built in the process. 

The positive trend of success experienced throughout this season sets a promising stage for the next year and marching seasons to come.

About the Contributor
Serena Luk
Serena Luk, Editor in Chief/Student Life Editor
Serena Luk (12) is looking forward to her second year in The Voice as Editor in Chief and Student Life Editor. As Student Life Editor she hopes to bring more attention to the diverse array of activities at Irvington. Outside of school, Serena enjoys playing tennis, collecting glass drinkware, and a *lowkey* unhealthy caffeine addiction :,)
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