Only have a minute? Listen instead
SAN BENITO – The music of the brass section rushes across the field as the drumline creates a sense of majesty and permanence.
The flags of the color guard of the San Benito High School Greyhound Marching Band ripple at a fast clip as the brisk energy of the wind awakens them. The sections – woodwinds, brass, drums and all the others – move like individual puzzle pieces which have now found harmony in one another’s unique configurations. As they shift, they create a continuously evolving sculpture of sight, sound and energy.
“Very nice, you’ve got a big advantage doing the four counts at rest right now,” says Director of Bands Dayri Mendoza.
The Greyhound players – 165 of them – have gathered in the late afternoon sun for another day of band camp, and their vitality and polish reveals a band excited and ready for another year.
But it’s not like any other year in recent memory.
Ociel Garcia, a trumpet player, has a solo ballad, and when he first performed his solo ballad with the band it brought him to tears.
“I teared up because we haven’t really sounded this good in awhile,” says the 17-year-old Ociel the previous day. “This is the best we’ve sounded for quite some time.”
And Mendoza quickly concurs with his student’s assessment.
“Some of the students were mentioning that the group plays at a very high level,” he says. “They are more advanced than in recent years in terms of marching, in terms of playing.”
And out on the field he continues to visit his accolades upon his players.
“That is the absolute best clarinet marching I have seen in this band in a long time,” he says from atop his tower where he can see all and everything.
The clarinet players have marched with a smooth and seamless precision and now they have been recognized in a grand way.
“It feels really good because there are always people behind us saying you need to get in line,” says Yailin Rodriguez, 16, a junior.
Fellow clarinet player Leslie Torres, 15, feels equally honored.
“It’s good because this is barely my second year marching,” she says.
This year’s show is a quick-paced and powerful piece called “Metal Scapes,” a union of several pieces and influences.
“The show features a lot of rock metal music, like Metallica,” says Emma Aguilar, 15, a drum major.
“This show is revolving around the concept of metal,” Mendoza said.
And Emma finds the new show invigorating and worth the extra effort.
“Even though it’s hard work, I enjoy it,” she says.
Ociel says “Metal Scapes” gives the brass section a chance to show itself in a way more bold and evident than in previous years.
“The brass instruments get to play loud, play out,” he says. “They get to just be there so everyone can see it. It gives the brass a chance to show what they can do.”
In the coming months as football season rolls out and the UIL competitions take place, perhaps many more will see the enthusiasm and the dedication of the players in the performance of a new show.