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Warriors Marching Band Competes at Fleet Week

Student musicians participate in a band challenge in San Francisco to wrap up Fleet Week 2012, and take home $2,000.

On Monday morning, 45 South San Francisco High School students stood at attention in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, waiting to perform in the annual Fleet Week high school marching band challenge.

After taking fourth place last year, South City Warriors were back for their second year.

Eight schools from the Bay Area region, including schools from Napa, Brentwood and San Jose, particpated to win cash prizes.

"It's exciting," said band director and head of the SSFHS music program, Brenda Yodice, while the student musicians huddled next to the staging area before their performace. "We're very glad to be here."

The South City students weren't expecting to win the competition, but they were more interested in just being part of the event.

"If Benicia High is here, they'll win," said one musician. Benicia took first place last year, but lost to Santa Teresa Monday afternoon. 

After South City's performance, the guard captains and drum major told Patch they weren't perfect; "but smooth enough," said guard co-captain Irene Diaz, and they had fun competing.

"We always have fun," said guard co-captain Ariana Tanimura.

"My favorite was Diablo de Las Lomas," senior and alto saxaphone player, Erik Calderon, said of the second out of three pieces the band played Monday.

The South City marching band has had a tumultuous recent history, one parent, Franklin Chun, said at the event.

Chun, whose daughter is a former bandmember who recently graduated from SSFHS, said that the group has been through several coaches in recent years.

"But they're the pride of South San Francisco," he said.

The recent changes didn't stop the group from making a strong showing at Fleet Week.

Band guild co-president Amy Matthews said that Santa Teresa High School took first place for $10,000, Benicia second for $6,000 and Leigh High third for $4,000. The remaining five competitors went home with $2,000 to go back toward the bands.

Parent volunteers and members of the band guild, including Amy Matthews, Rick Benavides, Meg Amano-Murata, and Lynne Baldonado were at the event. Anne Campagnet-Reed, along with Matthews, is a co-president of the guild.

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