Marching band makes a comeback

Emerald Brigade thrives again with the help from drum majors after pandemic


Chen directs the marching band as they perform “A Disney Fantasy” at halftime.

On a crisp Friday evening, during the halftime break, the Emerald Brigade emerges as they line up and perform their season show “A Disney Fantasy” during the football season. 

On Saturdays, they compete against bands across the county. The Emerald Brigade has already proven that they can overcome the many challenges that are thrown at them by placing second in the 4A division in their first competition on Oct. 8. 

After having 160 members before the pandemic, they  now have only 70 members, and they have come together as a team to face obstacles that came with the loss of so many members. 

“Honestly this downsize has been bittersweet because we take up less room on the field and aren’t able to make shapes that we could if we were bigger, but having a smaller band gives us a better opportunity to become a closer family,” Drum major senior Bryce Chen said.

Marching Band director and music teacher, Sylvester Sybilski, has been encouraging band members to work as a team to overcome the size barrier that they are facing this year. “We always talk about how you have to be a part of the team. It got highlighted even more now that there were less members because each of the students had to take on a bigger role,” Sybilski said. 

Chen has been a drum major for two years, along with senior Connor Wong,a second drum major this year. As leaders, they both run rehearsals, conduct during performances and shows, keep band members in sync, and help other members improve as marchers and musicians. 

“I think we put in front of them a whole new leadership that is foreign to band members, but day to day they have started to understand this new leadership. Not only is it growth in the leadership role, but they grow as drum majors, and have improved as much as they could and fulfilled their potential,” Sybilski said. 

Wong is not only a drum major, but he is also a huge contributor to the drum line that plays at pep rallies, football games, and competitions. 

“Being in the drum line prior to being a drum major has made it much easier, as I started this year with a really good sense of time management during the performances,” Wong said. 

This year is only getting started for the Emerald Brigade, as competitions continue throughout November. 

“I think we are and will do great. We are working hard every single day to improve our show and make our performances better,” Chen said.