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Marching band competition returns to Pitman
pitman band review
The second annual Pitman Preview of Champions band review will take place at 9 a.m. Sept. 29 on North Tegner Road.

After a successful first event last year, the Pitman High School Marching Pride will once again host its annual Pitman Preview of Champions band review at the end of the month, bringing 21 bands together for a parade like no other.

The Northern California Band Association provided an opportunity last year for the high school to host a review and Pitman jumped at the opportunity, band teacher Ruben Modesto said. Now, the Marching Pride will be joined by other area schools to be judged on their band’s performance again on Sept. 29.

“The feedback after last year’s event was very positive and everyone had a good time,” Modesto said. “The only way I can describe it is that it’s like being at a parade where every entry is a marching band.”

Band reviews are hosted around the country as a way for student marching bands to compete. Bands march in a parade during the competition, and are judged by a panel who give out marks for the best music, showmanship and marching ability.

At the Pitman Preview of Champions, 21 schools from places like Merced, Fairfield, Hilmar, Patterson, Gustine and more. Pitman will also be joined by their neighbors Turlock Christian High School at the event, Modesto said.

Though PHS won’t be participating in the competition, since the band is hosting the review, they will march as part of the parade. The competition’s procession will begin at the high school, make its way down Sandstone Street before finishing on North Tegner Road, where the competition will take place. Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs to watch the show, Modesto added, and vendors will be on site.

Money raised from the event will be used to fund more events in the future, like the band’s approaching trip to the Kennedy Center for the Arts in Washington, D.C., next spring. Community support at events like the band review has led to not just more opportunities for students already interested in band, but the expansion of musical interest in students throughout the city also, said Modesto.

“It’s nice to have people see these bands do something different,” he said.

The Marching Pride is a staple at the high school’s athletic and special events, playing current hits like rapper Mac Dre’s hit, “Feelin’ Myself,” to pump up the crowd or entertaining during halftime at Joe Debely Stadium with fancy footwork and a talented color guard team.

“Most of the bands prepare things for the football games and do a certain style of music for those, but this is something that lets people see the students in a different light,” Modesto said.

The event not only provides a way for the community to get to know the Marching Pride, but also allows students from different schools to bond over a shared passion.

“Each school shows school spirit. It’s really positive and, to me, it’s one of those things you don’t see too often,” said Modesto.

The second annual Pitman Preview of Champions band review will take place at 9 a.m. Sept. 29 on North Tegner Road. For more information regarding sponsorship and vendor opportunities, contact Patti Allen at 209-404-6401.