Marching band wraps up their competition season

The OPHS team has had a successful year

The Moorpark Parade, Sounds of Conejo and the Royal tournament are a few tournaments that have highlighted Oak Park High School’s marching band season. 

The marching band either competes or performs in field competitions, as well as parades, throughout the fall season. They also cheer on and perform at every home football game. 

“My absolute favorite memory was getting the first place award at Royal – it was astounding,” junior and sousaphone player Jonathon Manley said. “It’s the best we’ve ever done, and I shouted so loud I could barely talk for the next two days.” 

Students expressed that the reason behind their successful performances was the overall team mentality, and noted the importance of being on the same page. Junior Samuel Zubin described the overall team energy as “high-spirited.”

Members of the band have explained the importance of the duality of the sport.

“The best part of the marching band season this year was the Moorpark Parade and Sounds of Conejo,” Manley said. “Those were the times in which you felt truly individual and part of a group at the same time.”

The Sounds of Conejo event is an annual celebration of marching bands. The Moorpark Parade also occurs annually, with 2022 being its 51st year. 

Junior Marina Chukhlebova, a member of the band, noted that the team’s performance has improved since last year.   

“I think I’m proud of how well everyone learned their visuals, the little dance moves we do, because last year people seemed to struggle with those and our visuals were really bad in general,” Chukhlebova said. 

Though there were various wins, students expressed that Marching Band is a difficult sport, but the team aspect kept the morale high. 

“The energy of the team is pretty strong even though we are getting a little tired from always having practice,” Chukhlebova said.

The improvement of the visuals, over the course of practices held at least three times a week, helped the team be successful in tournaments and performances. OPHS’s marching band performed at the SCSBOA Championship, earning 13th place. For Chukhlebova, the best part of her year was simply the team. 

“My favorite part was getting to know the other people in my section, and getting to form bonds with other people in marching band,” Chukhlebova said.