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4 VALLEY BANDS MARCH FOR TITLE ALL TOP-CALIBER COMPETITORS.

Byline: CONNIE LLANOS Staff Writer

SANTA CLARITA -- For many football fans, students tooting tubas and thumping drums only provide the soundtrack for the main event.

But for four Santa Clarita Valley high school marching bands, performing was the ticket to the Dec.2 state championships.

Hart, Valencia, Saugus and West Ranch high schools will all be competing in different divisions. They qualified for the championships based on scores earned in various competitions throughout the fall marching band season.

``There are very few school districts of our size that have been able to have four bands reach this level of competition,'' said Pat Willett, spokeswoman for the William S. Hart Union High School District.

The first-year marching band at West Ranch High School made it to fifth place in its division.

``I think it's great that in our first year we went out and did this,'' band director Jason Marshall said. ``There are schools that have been doing this for 30 years and 40 years who didn't qualify.''

Marshall said organization and efficiency resulted in success for his young band, which has no seniors. His goal is to maintain and develop the West Ranch band's reputation.

``It should only get better from here.''

John Turner, assistant principal who oversees performing arts at Hart High, credited hard work for his school's superstar band, which plays the band music for TV's ``Friday Night Lights.''

``Everyone involved -- from all of the directors, marching band, drum-line pageantry -- everyone has been extremely dedicated since the start of the summer,'' Turner said.

Hart practices endlessly, holds special band summer camps and has an exhaustive band competition schedule.

The four schools will compete at various sites throughout Southern California.
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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Nov 23, 2006
Words:281
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