Spartan band prepares for winter concert

For 20 minutes on Friday night, friends and supporters of the La Cañada High School Marching Band were treated to a near-flawless display of on-field synchronicity as the Spartan band presented its final performance before a major competition and the annual winter concert.

The band performed its 2012 field show, “Mechanize,” and then headed off to the Western Bands Assn. Championships in Fresno. The band, directed by Jason Stone, practiced in a Central Valley vineyard before facing 4A marching bands from around the state and finishing in the top 15.

Led by drum major Charlie Getzen, the Spartans kicked off the season on Oct. 13 with a first-place finish at a competition at Laguna Hills High School. Afterward, the band captured fourth place at the Mission Viejo Band Show and Tournament of the Hills and fifth place at the Riverside Community College Big Orange Classic.

“I think we have very intelligent shows,” said band parent Linda Reisz, whose junior daughter plays trombone. “There’s always something kind of quirky.”

On the field, Getzen was assisted by backfield conductor Joseph Trytten and captains Rikio Inouye, Josh Spry, Cory Tripathy, Eugene Kim, Peter Choi and Noah Kim, as well as Kirsten Sheehy and Kathleen Lust of the color guard.

Ian Grom and John Mapes arranged the music for “Mechanize,” with visual design by Jack Pursiful and Brad Rancourt and auxiliary work by Homer Lopez and Leticia Alcuran.

It’s been a long season for the Spartans. The marching band began its five-practices-per-week schedule in June. But when it’s all over, Reisz said, emotions are mixed.

“We’re kind of sad,” she said. “But we had a really great season. It really is a huge community effort.”

The La Cañada High School band and orchestra will perform their annual winter concert at 7 p.m. on Dec. 18 at the high school Auditorium. La Cañada High School 7/8 musicians will perform on Dec. 17.

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