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RCC band rocked, surprised

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By David Morris

By David Morris

RCC will rock you!

Standing down on the sidelines, watching the drum major start the performance, your chest cavity is shaken by the two beats of large drums then the 180-member band claps. Then you realize that it is Queen, being played by one of the elite marching band in the country.

Riverside Community College’s Marching Tigers field show this year was “RCC Will Rock You” featuring an opener with “We Will Rock You,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and “We Will Rock You (reprise)” with elements of “We Are the Champions” and “Another One Bites the Dust.”

The band was able to acquire several new drums from Dynasty Instruments to help emphasize the percussion sound of “We Will Rock You.”

Tuba player, Peter Wanabo, is the solo vocalist singing the first stanza of We Will Rock You.

Mike Espinosa has been a trumpet soloist in the band since 1985, with a few breaks in between but at one time a continuous 11 years. He has been dubbed the “old man” but he keeps coming back for meeting new people and old friends.

According to Espinosa, he has stayed with the band all this time because no other Community College can compete at RCC level. It is the cutting edge of pageantry, RCC raises the bar every year. And this season was no exception.

The drum major, Jeremy Buckley, is the individual that keeps the band as a whole in tempo and on track, that individual has been RCC drum major for the last two years, but played mellophone for five.

According to Buckley, people stay in band for so long because it is about the people, “being able to come together and put something on that one of us can’t do by ourselves.”

While the band members are performing, they often forget about the audience they are playing to, but when the show is completely over they can stare out and notice cheering crowds and everybody on their feet.

The band director, Gary Locke, said that it was a “great season, kid’s did great…I mean band members.” He said with a laugh.Locke attributed this year’s success to the selection of music that they chose. “Everybody knows Queen and their piece Bohemian Rhapsody.”

The bands purpose is to solely entertain, but in order to do that the kids made great sacrifices, working around school and work schedules to be apart of this elite band.

On Nov. 18- 19 the band was asked to perform at Bands of America Grand Nationals at the RCA Dome in Indianapolis.

It was asked to help Bands of America celebrate 30 years of competition, which is what influenced RCC music selection, relying on music released during that time. The band performed in front of over 22,000 people of bands across the United States and fans.

On Nov. 27 RCC was the lead unit in the Hollywood Christmas Parade. RCC band is considered “Hollywood’s Band” because of their many movie and television productions that they were contracted to do.

They were featured in the new upcoming movie American Pie 4: Band Camp and can be seen in the music video B.Y.O.B by System of A Down.

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