Benicia High School Band Wins Big at Fleet Week Band Challenge

By: Allison Rigler and Nick Austin

The panther marching band traveled to Golden gate park on Monday to participate at the annual Fleet Week Band Challenge hosted by the U.S. Marines. High schools from across the bay area compete at this event each year for a chance at winning 10,000 dollars. That money can be used to pay for instrument repairs, trip costs, transportation to band reviews etc.  

The band performed three songs this year. Madrid By: Eric Morales, Ave Maria by: Franz Biebl, and The Wizard by: George Allen. They played Madrid first, which was originally meant for a jazz group, but was converted to a full band piece for fleet week.

The Panther Band played Madrid which featured Parker Stewart on Trombone. Photo by Sandy Bance

Benicia High Fleet Week Madrid Video

The band also played this song for their halftime performance at the homecoming football game. The song had Parker Stewart soloing on Trombone. The next song was Ave Maria. This song was written as choir piece, but also has a band arrangement. This song featured Jackson Han-Smith on French Horn as the soloist. The Last song the band played was The Wizard, which is this year’s March that the band plays at band reviews. 

 The Panther Band worked for weeks on the pieces of music; they had gotten them in the first few weeks of school so they could get the music memorized as perfect as possible. Benicia had participated in the competition two years prior and had gotten third place, the band was buzzing with excitement to compete in San Francisco again. 

The Panther Band also played the March. The band had been preparing for this competition for weeks and it all payed off. Photo by Sandy Bance

Benicia High finished the day in second place, Santa Cruz High School got third and Pittsburg High School got first. Even though the band didn’t get first they still got a hefty prize of 6,000 dollars. Benicia is very proud of this win, the competition was tough, eight schools from all around the Bay Area competed at this event.  Benicia was one of the only marching groups there that day. The band looks forward to hopefully competing next year and possibly winning the top prize of 10,000 dollars.

One thought

  1. An impressive group of students doing impressive musical and team work. I couldn’t be prouder of the group or the individual students.


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