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Pitman to host first-ever marching band competition
The Pitman High School Marching Pride practice Monday night for their parade performance for the regional band review the Turlock school will be hosting later this month. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

The Pitman High School Marching Pride will be joined by 19 other bands at the end of the month for a parade like no other – the first annual Pitman Preview of Champions band review.


This is the first time PHS will host a band review, said band teacher Ruben Modesto. When the Northern California Band Association provided an opportunity for the high school to host a review, Modesto jumped at the opportunity.


“We’ve been interested in hosting one in the past, so we were just waiting for the opportunity to arise where we could have a review at our school,” he said. “The reason we were approached to host one is our location. There aren’t too many events like this in the Central Valley, so it adds another for bands like us.”


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, 19 schools will travel from Modesto, Los Banos, Merced, Fresno and Grass Valley.


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. Spectators are encouraged to bring chairs and watch the parade. Vendors will also 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.


“We have a lot of students in music classes, in fifth grade all the way to 12th grade. Our band is continuing to grow in size, and to be perfectly honest, all of our groups within the District and within Turlock in general are successful and doing some really good things,” said Modesto. “They’re performing at a level that really reflects the greatness of or town.”


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


It’s the band’s fun attitude but serious work ethic which has contributed to their success, said Modesto.

“My philosophy is whenever the band leaves the band room, they’re performing. When we’re out in public, we represent not just the band, but the school district and the city,” said Modesto. “But, we like to keep things positive, we like to have a lot of fun and we like to perform.”


The first annual Pitman Preview of Champions band review will take place at 10 a.m. Sept. 30 on North Tegner Road. For more information regarding sponsorship and vendor opportunities, visit or contact Kathy Nava at 209-485-4335.