The La Cañada High School drumline set a program best on Saturday, placing second in the Southern California Percussion Alliance finals at Cal State University, San Bernardino.
The Spartans posted a score of 90.56 for second place. Canyon High School came in first with a score of 92.24. La Cañada also qualified for the upcoming Winter Guard International Championships.
“This is the highest success rate we’ve had so far,” said Bradley Rancourt, instructor of La Cañada’s drumline. “This is the first time La Cañada High is going to world championships in the history of the school.”
Coming into this year, Rancourt’s goal was to make finals. La Cañada did that on April 2 in the Southern California Percussion Alliance semifinals at Great Oaks High School in Temecula, scoring 90.33 and missing out on first by .02 of one point.
“We’re already well above that goal,” said Rancourt, adding that La Cañada’s drumline entered the finals ranked second in the state and sixth in the world. “The goal was to come in, have a good show and make finals; everything else just kind of worked out.”
Ryan Leeka, the group’s senior drum captain, agreed with Rancourt.
“The show is put together really well for us; we have just have to play it,” Leeka said.
Miriam Pinski, the senior pit captain for La Cañada’s drumline, said the group is completely comfortable with its performance, having practiced it over and over, which is one of the reasons it’s had so much success.
The community throughout the drumline and the group’s strong leadership are two other big reasons this group has achieved a first in school history, Pinski said.
“[Our coaches] are really experienced, because they’ve been in drum corps and in indoor drumlines for many years, so they know what they’re talking about and they’re really tough,” Pinski said. “I feel like everyone respects them.”
La Cañada’s drumline is headed to Dayton, Ohio for the Winter Guard International Championships, an invitational competition taking place April 13 through 17.
“It’s really nice to finish off (my senior year) with something to be proud of,” Leeka said. “I definitely want to go out swinging.”