Section by chance, family by choice

Club+Blue+practices+in+the+band+room+after+school+on+March+15.+Band+Direc-%0Ator+Mark+McCann+conducts+the+students+as+they+rehearse+one+of+their+songs.

Jaylen Gladney

Club Blue practices in the band room after school on March 15. Band Direc- tor Mark McCann conducts the students as they rehearse one of their songs.

Jose Solis, Podcast Manager

A symphony of noise and boisterous music. A touch of brass and expression, to be therapeutic. A bundle of instruments, all organized and sound. Every one of these sounds can be found in Bonita Vista High’s (BVH) Club Blue.

Different sections allow different students to express themselves. As Club Blue’s days continue on, members are able to get accustomed to splitting into seven sections with their own proper leaders to run them.

“There’s flutes, clarinets, saxes, high brass, low brass, percussion and guard. Those are the seven sections,” President, low brass section leader and senior Alexis Garcia said. “Each section has a section leader. Guard and percussion have what’s called captains. [Each section is] just smaller groups that all play [or do] the same thing.”

A section consists of a group of students that play in accordance with one another as they follow their leader. The section leader positions are not available for freshmen as the positions require students to have finished their first year of Club Blue.

[Club Blue is] a really big dedication. It’s kind of an all or nothing situation where if you don’t want to dedicate your time then you’re not going to get the results that you want.”

— Vice President Co-Uniform Manager, high brass section leader and senior Giana Stratton

“My freshman year I had nothing [in leadership]. Then, you [can] apply at the end of your [first] year. You can’t do that at the end of your eighth grade when you’re not in the [Club Blue} program,” Garcia said. 

Once a section leader has been chosen for the upcoming school year, Club Blue section leaders can begin to organize their groups and instruments. The section leaders strive to provide members the best experience possible. As such, one of the best ways that these section leaders do so would be by planning moments of team get togethers referred to as “bondings.”

“[Bondings are] not mandatory. It was just fun to interact with all the new generations together and have it be effortless in a way. We’ve all maintained that friendly environment that we had amongst different groups [in] different years [to where it] just morphed together,” Vice President Co-Uniform Manager, high brass section leader and senior Giana Stratton said. 

Stratton mentions that the bondings provide returning students opportunities to create connections and friendly relationships with first year students, commonly referred to as “rookies” by section leaders. These connections allow for section leaders to instruct and help members improve their skills. Garcia expresses her happiness and sense of pride for her section, whose entrants this year were all first year students.

“My section started from zero and we had to put in so much work to reach the level of everybody else because, [even though] we were starting from zero, [other sections] were starting with players that have played for a few years,” Garcia said. “It was a really interesting dynamic and I was actually really happy that I could have been the section leader this year [because] I formed a lot of really strong connections with the kids in my section.”

Aside from playing instruments or holding presidential positions, there are more positions available in Club Blue that consist of less playing and more filing. In these positions, students are instrumental to the upkeep of the club as they deal with its overall management.

“It gets tedious organizing music, especially when it’s really out of order. I remember in the first few weeks of being a librarian, we had to ship music to the [Sweetwater Union High School District] because the music was due and I only had a week. Giving out music and organizing it [still gives me] a pretty solid role there,” Librarian and junior Mitchell Moundraty said. 

According to Garcia, Club Blue’s section system has allowed for each to create its own “little family” with the section leader as the ‘head.’ With that, the section leaders can guide their “families” into new practices and traditions to bring them closer together as a group, while still managing a work environment and completing tasks. 

“I’ve tried to assume a more serious role [as section leader], because I’m not a serious person. I know when to take things seriously but I also know how to make serious things still enjoyable, without completely ruining it all together, and so I had to find the balance of making people laugh and happy, but also [saying] we need to get [tasks] done,” Garcia said. 

In Club Blue, the connections between students with similar interests and instruments are not limited to their sections, as the entirety of Club Blue has been able to form a ‘large family.’ The passion that flows within Club Blue is something shared to provide a “unique experience,” according to Moundraty.

“[Club Blue is] a really big dedication. It’s kind of an all or nothing situation where if you don’t want to dedicate your time then you’re not going to get the results that you want,” Stratton said. “Even if you [don’t want to dedicate yourself], you still have an environment of people that love and accept you.”