by Sebastian Squire
When one attends a football game the atmosphere can be overwhelming. Football players and fans run back and forth while screaming and taunting one another. The smell of hot dogs and nachos waft on the air above the field, but a critical piece to this event is sometimes overlooked.
“I think it brings a lot more excitement to the game,” said Sophomore Nico Wells, a member of the Pep Band, “If somebody scored a touchdown and you didn’t have a band playing, it wouldn’t bring as much energy and chaos to the game.” Armed with instruments such as saxophones, trumpets, and clarinets, these students arrive before the Varsity football games andplay musicthrough the end. A lesser known instrument used in the Las Lomas Pep Band is the sousaphones. “The sousaphone is used because tubas are quite heavy and could easily [be] damaged in the stands,” said Ms. Ravina the overseer of the Pep Band. “In addition to weight issues, the tubas we have at our school include a bell that faces upward. In a situation where you are needing volume, the frontward facing sousaphone allows for more sound to be projected.”
The pep band plays upbeat music to energize the atmosphere. “The music designed for pep band almost always has drum grooves written into them, and are often upbeat or based on energy-creating ideas,” said Ms. Ravina. When asked his favorite song, Wells said “Crazy Train,” without a moment of pause. As a result of decades of student leadership, “[Pep Band] is a great example of students leading students and students committed to bringing spirit to our school. In addition, much of the music we play has been arranged and/or written for the pep band by former and current students,” said Ms. Ravina.
Although the band is a fixture of every Las Lomas home game, the funding is much less predictable: “I can’t imagine [our arts programs] functioning at such high levels without parent support, both financial and volunteering,” said principal Tiffany Benson. These parent contributions are coupled with parcel taxes, or flat tax rate for any property in an area. Some are measures A and G whose purpose is “to help preserve science, mathematics, arts, music, and foreign language courses,” according to the 2018 Las Lomas budget record. Some of this money is given to the pep band through music donations. The revenue and generous donations have aided our arts programs, allowing them to prosper and grow and will be crucial to the future of our pep band.