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    Colony High School Marching band wins competition, learns about MEOP opportunities

    Colony High School Wins Battle of the Bands

    Photo By Damany Coleman | Melissa Chan, Clarinet Section Leader, Colony High School Marching Band, speaks with...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Damany Coleman 

    1st Marine Corps District

    CARSON, Calif. - They marched across the field in their bold uniforms, rank and file, ready for battle. Anxious but eager, their eyes focused on the opposing team, waiting for the first sounds the opposition’s instruments will produce.

    These weren’t service members in the line of duty, weapons drawn, fighting for their countries in the line of duty, but some of the best high school bands in Southern California, prepped to go toe-to-toe in the name of music.

    Colony High School and Arroyo High School marching bands came together to compete in the 4th Annual Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl Battle of the Bands competition to show their musical prowess at the Stubhub Center in Carson, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 5, 2015.

    The competition ended on a great note, but Colony High School came away with a win. The CHS band earned a $1,000 cash prize, as well as recognition as one of the best marching bands in Southern California.

    Gunnery Sgt. Christian Arellano, the Musical Technical Assistant of 12th Marine Corps District, attended the Semper Fi Bowl to judge the band competition and spread the word about musical opportunities in the Corps.

    Arellano said it’s important for the general public to know that the Marine Corps values the arts.

    “This competition is evidence of that,” said Arellano. “The Marine Corps is even willing to pay people that are willing to serve their country by inspiring through music.”

    Melissa Chan, clarinet section leader at Colony High School, said she feels music is a form of expression, and she was excited to compete with her team.

    “It feels good being a part of a whole,” said Chan, who also plays the piano. “It feels good being a part of something bigger than yourself. Its inspiring.”

    Gunnery Sgt. Gary Robison, the band master of Marine Band San Diego said the Marine Corps Musician Enlistment Option Program, or MEOP, offers young men and women the opportunity to pursue their passion for music, as well as serve their nation.

    There are 10 bands in the Corps that provide musical support for ceremonies, community relations and recruiting initiatives. Music is also a large part of the Marine Corps’ rich history and traditions, beginning in the late 1700s. One of the most famous military musicians, John Phillip Souza, known as the ‘March King,’ began his storied career in the Corps.

    The MEOP program also provides talented musicians who want to challenge themselves as a Marine and as a musician, by teaching advanced musical skills as well as leadership principles.

    “Music is a vital necessity to the Marine Corps,” said Arellano. “It’s been around almost as long as the military has, and it will never go away. It’s a vital link between the community and the Marine Corps.”

    Arellano added that music is one of the best ways the Marines can communicate with the public.

    “Music keeps them motivated and patriotic.” said Arellano. “ Music really is the universal language, whether they were trained or just listen to it, it always hits you in that sweet spot inside you and stirs up your soul.”



    Date Taken: 01.05.2015
    Date Posted: 01.05.2015 04:55
    Story ID: 151356

    Web Views: 885
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