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Campus color guard, percussion return to Pismo parade

Spending the day at the beach and shopping in downtown Pismo Beach, campus percussion and color guard recently marched in their first parade of the semester. Both groups marched one mile in the Pismo Clam Festival along with various other floats, social groups and bands, Oct. 20.

Courtesy of Lesley Bannister

After marching for one mile, the students finished the day eating ice cream at Doc. Burnsteins.

Fifth year instrumental director Lesley Bannister views the parade as more than just a group performance.

“Rehearsing together at school helps us creates a great sound,” Bannister said. “Spending time together produces friendships and students come back to school with a better understanding of what performing together means.”

During her first year in percussion, Kemya Hopkins, ‘24, experiences the struggles of marching but still plans on persevering through the Clovis Electric Lights Parade.

“The parade was very hard because my feet were hurting,” Hopkins said. “My back was hurting and the people there were staring at me the whole time which made it hard to focus. But know I know what it feels like so I can get ready for it next year.”

While there, the students explored downtown Pismo, ate dinner at Klondike’s pizza and ice cream at Doc. Burnsteins.

Fifth year colorguard student Shauna Howard, ‘20, values the trip as one of the first times colorguard has gone on an overnight trip.

I liked it because it was something fun an new,” Howard said. “The color guard hasn’t done an out-of-town trip before so it was a new experience. It also helped me to understand how the Hawaii trip is going to be next year, so it imitated when we go out of town next.”

Kemya Hopkins also anticipates winter percussion and Christmas music which combines with her love for Christmas.

“The trip gave me a chance to spend more time with my classmates and I get to perfect my percussion techniques,” Hopkins said. “I think we are ready for winter percussion because it’s my favorite time of the year and I like Christmas and the Christmas songs are going to sound really pretty.”

Interested in the drum set, Michael Herrera, ‘24, felt the pressure of his performance but remained calm.

It was a very calm trip but at the same time it was partly stressful because we were performing for the first time,” Herrera said. “The parade was pretty long and I didn’t know if my body was going to collapse or if I was going to make it.”

Bannister recognizes the dedication of the students in order to succeed during performances.

“This was my first experience taking performers to the Pismo Parade,” Bannister said. “I was so proud of the students’ performance. They have been working hard all semester and their work really showed through in their performance. We were paid many compliments by the judges and well as the audience.”

Courtesy of Lesley Bannister

After performing at the parade the groups explored downtown Pismo.

Appreciating the challenges of color guard, Howard constantly looks for opportunities to improve.

“My favorite part of color guard is performing all the different routines and learning new moves,” Howard said. “I like it because it is really fun to perform and look at the things we can do and also observe how we can improve over the years.”

Herrera also values the experience of playing for others when compared to playing alone.

“My favorite part of the trip was playing during the parade,” Herrera said. “I got to play in front of a crowd which was exciting because I usually only play alone. The parade also helped me prepare for the next parade and the Christmas concert and helped me gain more control of my wrists.”

Percussion and color guard will be performing in the Clovis Electric Lights Parade, Dec. 1.

For more articles read: Space Archaeology: Discovering and Defining History or Breaking: 44th Annual ClovisFest, Oct. 27-28.

Vijay Stephen can be reached via Twitter and email.

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