Tag Archives: South Kitsap High School Marching Band

Battle of the Bands: South Kitsap Out of Top 10, Kingston Makes the Cut

South Kitsap High School Marching Band has been upstaged in The Rock Woodfired Pizza Battle of the Bands by the Kingston High School Buccaneers, who came in second in the popular vote.

As one of the top 10 bands from across the state, the Bucs were judged this morning by four celebrity judges to determine if they receive a prize in the contest. The winner of the contest receives $10,000. Winners will be announced Monday morning on KZOK radio.

South Kitsap last year swept the popular vote and made it into the top 10. Judges picked Liberty High School as the winner; South Kitsap High School placed third.

The South Kitsap band, which marched in the 2010 Tournament of Roses Parade, pledged that if they won, they would donate the money during this year’s Relay for Life. “The community has supported us on getting to the Tournament of Roses Parade and it is only just for us to show them our gratitude. Of course if we do not place in the competition, we will still be participating in the event and raising money any way we can,” said drum major Paulla Santos.

Paulla commented on Kingston’s accomplishment, as well as South Kitsap’s failure to make it into the top 10 for the first time since the contest began three years ago.

Here’s Paulla:
“Hi there Mrs. Henry! Yes I have heard the results and we are perfectly fine with it:) It is obvious that we did not push the votes this year since last year we out voted everyone by a large margin..We have done a lot of amazing things so far and nothing can top the rose bowl and a day from the governor. To be in the top ten, u simply just need to acquire votes. This is kind of disheartening that it is not based on the music of the overall program, but its a contest to have fun with videos and raise spirit:) As far as the money and planning on giving it back to the community, we are still participating in Relay For Life with at least 2 or 3 teams ^.^”

Tuesday is South Kitsap Band Day in Olympia, Gov. Says

By Chris Henry
Gov. Christine Gregoire has proclaimed Tuesday South Kitsap High School Marching Band Day.
Gregoire signed the proclamation Jan. 8 in honor of the band’s performance in the 2010 Rose Parade in Pasadena, Calif.
South Kitsap was chosen in October, 2008 from among more than 60 applicants for the opportunity to play in the Rose Parade. This year, there were 16 slots open to applicants.
An estimated one million people each year line the streets of Pasadena to watch the 5 1/2-mile parade, and Tournament of Roses officials claim millions more watch the show around the world, with broadcasts in 217 countries.
Band Director Gary Grams, who marched as a student in the 1991 Tournament of Roses Parade with the Wyoming High School All-State Centennial Marching Band, wanted his students to be able to share the experience. The students practiced intensively from midsummer on, including calisthenics to prepare themselves for the parade.
Grams will travel to Olympia next month for a ceremonial signing of the proclamation.

Proclamation for SKHS Marching Band 2010

SK Has Competition from Kingston in Battle O’ Bands

Members of the South Kitsap High School Marching Band, resting on their laurels after a marathon performance in the 2010 Rose Parade, may want to take note of some competition on the horizon in their own backyard.

The Kingston High School Buccaneer Marching Band is proving itself a force to be reckoned with. The band, formed three years when the high school opened, has entered the annual Battle of the Bands, sponsored by KZOK and The Rock Wood-Fired Pizza & Spirits. As of Thursday, they were in sixth place in the preliminary round of the contest, involving online voting via text messages.

The top 10 bands will be determine by online voting — up to 10 text messages per phone per day are allowed. The winner will be chosen Feb. 5 by a panel of judges. South Kitsap and Kingston are among 33 Washington high schools competing for a chance to win $10,000. The runner-up band wins $5,000. The band that shows the most spirit and effort will earn $2,500.

If I’m not mistaken, Kitsap County is unique in having two bands in the contest.

Let’s look at how things have gone so far for South Kitsap in the Battle of the Bands. Year One, 2008: The band is among the finalists and its performance of a medley of Beatles tunes, including “Magical Mystery Tour,” is included on a CD from the contest. Online voting that year was disrupted by a hacker. Year two, 2009: South Kitsap wins the popular vote hands down, but the panel of judges picks Liberty High School as the winner, placing SK third. That $10,000 would have so come in handy for the Rose Parade trip. Sign band director, Gary Grrrrrams.

This year, South Kitsap is at the top of its game, with a video performance of Bon Jovi’s “You Give Love a bad Name,” the same song they played block after block at the Rose Parade. Kingston, meanwhile, has stepped out with their video version of “Radar Love” by Golden Earring.

Check out both videos below, then exercise your rights as a citizen of the United States of Kitsap. Text to 24300. If you favor South Kitsap, vote rock28 (no spaces, hyphens etc). If you’re rooting for the underdog, Kingston, type in rock10. Or split your 10 votes per day. Heck, I don’t care. But whatever you do, show your Kitsap colors. After all, we are THE Washington hotbed of bands that rock. No?

South Kitsap High School – “You Give Love a Bad Name”

Kingston High School Band – “Radar Love”

Video: SK Band at Bandfest 2010

The South Kitsap High School Marching Band performed at Bandfest 2010 on Dec. 30 at Pasadena City College.

This video was made available to the Kitsap Sun by Farmer’s Insurance, an official supporter of the Tournament of Roses. Notice at the beginning, the announcer gives props to local Farmer’s agent Brain Horch. Working with the Washington state office, Horch orchestrated a dodgeball tournament called “Dodge for Roses” that raised $3,900 for the band’s trip.

Chris Henry, reporter

Post to Twitter Tweet This Post

Some Bands Travel Far, Overcome Obstacles to March in Rose Parade

South Kitsap High School Marching Band is one of 22 bands chosen to perform New Year’s Day in the 2010 Rose Parade.

South Kitsap High School Band
South Kitsap High School Band

The band will play a field show at Bandfest, the Tournament of Roses’ showcase of Rose Parade musicians. Bandfest extends over two days, with three shows. South Kitsap is scheduled to play at 2 p.m. today (Dec. 30) at Pasadena City College.

South Kitsap will represent the Northwest region in the Rose Parade. Also from the Northwest, the Oregon Marching Band is included since the University of Oregon Ducks will be playing in the Rose Bowl Game.

Bands come from all over the country and from abroad. Some are invited back year after year. The Salvation Army Tournament of Roses Band, for example, has played in the parade for 90 years. South Kitsap was among more than 60 bands competing for 16 audition slots in the parade.

International bands in this year’s parade include one from Japan, the Kansai Honor Green Band of Kyoto, and the Latin Band Pedro Molina from Guatemala (see video at bottom of post).

As far as size goes, South Kitsap is, as drum major Paulla Santos says, “a little fish in a big pond.” With 109 members, they are less than half the size of most bands, which typically have 200 members or more. The largest, to the best of my knowledge, is the Los Angeles Unified School District band, with 358 members.

The smallest band in the parade is the Ohio State School for the Blind Marching Band with 68 members total, including 13 brass, 13 percussion, 11 woodwinds, 2 banner carriers, 29 marching assistants, sighted individuals who march alongside band members. These marching assistants range in age from junior high through grandparents ages. All are volunteers.

The instrumental music program at the publicly funded school had been dormant for 13 years, when Carol Agler, now music director, joined the staff in 1998. She discovered the band instruments in storage and petitioned to revive the program. Agler, who has been a driving force behind creation of the band, is listed as assistant director. Dan Kelley, a trumpet player who has been blind from birth, is the band director.

Band members learn their music using a computer program called SmartMusic that allows them to hear their parts individually or with the band as slowly as they choose. Many of the band members have “perfect pitch,” meaning they can identify any pitch they hear. They work independently with SmartMusic to learn their music. Others read enlarged music or Braille music as they use SmartMusic.

Their entry information includes the following statement:
“The Rose Parade provides an opportunity to demonstrate to the WORLD what incredible musicians blind and visually impaired students can be, and to provide a model for other programs and students. We hope to give visually impaired students the imagination and tools to reach their full potential. We hope other band directors will follow our lead and readily include visually impaired students in their marching bands.”

Latin Band Pedro Molina, Guatemala, from YouTube

Chris Henry, Kitsap Sun Reporter

SKHS Band: What You Need to Know

Here’s some information on the South Kitsap High School Band that Director Gary Grams submitted to the Tournament of Roses Association. When national television announcers see the band marching down the street at the Rose Parade, they’ll reference this information.

Gary Grams
Gary Grams

I should mention that Tournament of Roses President-elect Sally Bixby, who visited the band in June, told me yesterday that she was especially impressed with the band given its size. Most of the bands in the Rose Parade are at least twice as large as the Wolves’ band. Most have a larger staff, too. Grams gets it done with the help of assistant director Michael Paul Koontz, and drum majors Paulla Santos, James Damian and Simone Schaffer, who provide essential leadership as well as literally leading the band in performances.

Here’s Grams on Band History:
There is not a recorded history for the Band Program at SKHS, I only know what has been told to me about the band. Back in “the day” the SKHS Marching Band used to be called the Marching Machine. They won every competition they went to for many years.

Now for a more recent history of the band. South Kitsap High School is the largest 10-12 HS in the state of Washington with a total enrollment of 2500+ students. We currently have over 100 members in the band program that participate in Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Pep Band, Jazz Band, and of course Marching Band.

When I arrived at SKHS I was the third band director in four years and started out with 48 students. We have grown significantly over the past seven years and now have over 100 students in the program. We strive for excellence in everything we do and take a lot of pride in the product that we produce.

In my tenure at SKHS the band and I have had many wonderful and unique performing opportunities, such as performing for the homecomings of three U.S. Naval ships: the USS Camden, the USS Carl Vinson and the USS John C. Stennis.

For the last two years the marching band competed in a Battle of the Bands competition sponsored by the Seattle radio station KZOK and The Rock Wood Fired Pizza. Although the band did not win last year, we were included on a CD of the top ten bands of the competition. This year we won third place. The competition has been a great experience for the band.

We have also participated annually in the Armed Forces Day Parade in Bremerton, Washington (largest Armed Forces Parade in the Country) in the Apple Blossom Parade in Wenatchee, WA., the Macy’s Holiday Parade in Seattle, WA. and the Victoria Day Parade in Victoria B.C.

The Marching Band also performs regularly in our community in such events as grand openings and other special occasions. Everything we do we strive for musical and marching excellence. Our strengths lie in our powerful sound and musical accuracy as well as marching excellence.”

SKHS Band’s Awards and Honors:
* KZOK and The Rock Wood Fired Pizza – Battle of the Bands Competition, sponsored by KZOK Radio: 2008, Successfully recorded “Magical Mystery Tour Medley” for a promotional CD from the contest that included the top ten bands from the competition; 2009, won popular vote in online competition to determine finalists, then named to 3rd Place by panel of judges.
* Macy’s Holiday Parade—Seattle Washington (2005 to present): 2008, Featured as opening musical act for parade; 2007, Award for Musical Excellence; 2006, Best Marching Band.
* Yearly participation in the Armed Forces Day Parade in Bremerton, Wa., (largest armed forces parade in the country), 2003 – present: 2009, 1st Place in our division; 2008, 1st Place in our division; 2007, 1st Place in our division; 2006, 2nd Place in our division.
* Yearly Participation in the Husky Band Day, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, 2004 – present.
* Yearly participation in the Victoria Day Parade, Victoria, B.C., 2003-present (except 2007 due to technical difficulties): 2009, 3rd Place in our division; 2008, 3rd Place in our division.
* Played for the Homecoming of the USS John C. Stennis (aircraft carrier) at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, 2003-04 school year.
* Played for the Homecoming of the USS Carl Vinson (aircraft carrier) at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, 2003-04 school year.
* Played for the Homecoming of the USS Camden (support vessel) at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton, Washington, 2002-03 school year.
Other Parade Awards: 1st Place, Apple Blossom Parade, Wenatchee, Wa.; 3rd Place, Victoria Day Parade, Victoria B.C.