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Local bands come together at Pitman’s Preview of Champions
Pitman high band 1
As the event hosts, the Marching Pride opened the 2023 Preview of Champions last Saturday (Photo contributed).

The streets of north Turlock were filled with the sound of music last Saturday as the sixth annual Pitman Preview of Champions hosted dozens of marching bands, drum lines and color guards from across the region.

The Preview of Champions marks the start of band review season for local high schools. Pitman and Turlock were two of the 26 total participating schools.

Turlock high band
The Bulldog Band earned a second place finish in Division 4A at the first band review of the year, the Pitman Preview of Champions (Photo contributed).

This year’s event was in honor of Patti Allen, the Preview of Champions event coordinator who lost her battle with cancer just days before this year’s event on Sept. 21. Allen joined the band board in 2016 as communications coordinator, became president-elect in 2018, and then held the lead position as the Marching Pride Band Boosters president from 2019 to 2020. In 2019, Patti became the event coordinator for the Preview of Champions and continued to run the event even after her youngest son graduated in 2020.

Pitman color guard
The Pitman High color guard helped the Marching Pride open the Preview of Champions parade last Saturday (Photo contributed).

“Patti loved the Marching Pride and continued to support it to ensure the growing success of the Preview of Champions,” said Pitman band director Ruben Modesto. “Throughout all her involvement with the band she impacted so many families, band parents and, especially, the band students. Her bright personality, strong leadership, and natural ability to see the big picture yet manage details will be sorely missed. This kick off to the marching season has become the wonderful event it is because of her hard work and dedication.”

Turlock band drum major
Turlock High drum major Justine Piro proudly poses with the band’s Division 4A second place trophy at the Pitman Preview of Champions (Photo contributed).

Earning the best score of the area schools was Turlock’s Bulldog Band, who earned a second-place finish in Division 4A. Drum major Justine Piro accepted the trophy on behalf of the program.