Compton Dominguez high school
Inglewood high school
Crenshaw high school
Photos by Jason Lewis
Local high schools compete at Battle of the Bands
By Jason Lewis
Sentinel Sports Editor
Marching bands from Compton Dominguez, Compton, Crenshaw, and Inglewood high schools pulled double duty this past weekend. After performing on Friday night for football playoff games, they headed down to the Home Depot Center in Carson for a competition of their own.
The 2010 Battle of the High School Marching Bands not only gave band members a chance to compete, but it also put them on a larger stage than they are used to, which is different from playing at a local high school.
“That’s a home crowd, a small high school football field,” said Conrad Hutchinson, band director at Inglewood high school. “The Home Depot Center is a major venue.“
Inglewood has participated in this event in all six years of its existence, and they have taken home the title twice, in 2006 and 2008.
Hutchinson said that he has a very young band, but this was their best show ever.
As good as Inglewood was, it was not enough to take home the title this year. Austin high school from Houston, Tx, was the best of the best on Saturday night. But Hutchinson was not upset at the outcome.
“It’s not if you win it’s how the kids did,” Hutchinson said. “They feel good about themselves and they gave it 100%”
Lolita Carter, the band director at Compton Dominguez, feels the same way.
“I want to make this experience one of the greatest of their lives,” Carter said.
The sense of competition could really be felt as the winners were announced. Band members were on the edge of their seats, some crossing their fingers for luck, as they were hoping to hear their band called as the winner.
Just like any sport, there are life lessons in participating in the marching band. Carter does not see any difference between playing at a local high school, or at a larger venue.
“What I’m trying to do is teach my kids to operate to a certain standard,” Carter said. “Which means that you have that standard no matter where it is. On the football field on Friday nights, at Dodgers Stadium, at the Home Depot Center, on the street, doesn’t matter. You hold yourself to the same standard all the time.”
Carter goes on to mention that the band practices as hard and as long as any other sport, and they do it for three hours a day, 12 months a year.
The Battle of the High School Marching is a charity event that is produced by The Home Depot Center Charitable Foundation and The VH1 Save the Music Foundation.