The Rise of the Marching Band

Anna Salinas

Maywood Academy’s first-ever field show, The Sound of Maywood, was created in the span of 3 months. The band focused on playing a style of music, banda, which is a Mexican genre. 


The path to the 2019 LAUSD Band & Drill Championships was difficult as well as time-consuming, but the idea became possible because of Maywood Academy’s instruments, band, and marching dynamics band director, Mr. Smith. Hard work made it possible to learn the music, routine, and drill in as little as three months.

After a long, hard, but rewarding practice, the Maywood Nighthawks pose with Joe Abraham in celebration of it being their last practice of the season. By Mr. R. Smith

The long hours of practice helped them prepare for their upcoming season. During this time, music instructors, drill coordinators, choreographers, and supporters came in to give the students a confident mindset.


One coach who came in is an actor, Joe Abraham, who taught the band slowly how to get out of their comfort zone by giving them exercises such as yelling out their names, standing tall, or even being silly without regretting it. Joe taught them the differences between a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset. Joe always told them “if you make a mistake, learn and grow from it”. One phrase Joe taught everyone to remember was, “How you do anything is how you do everything.” meaning if you are part of something, put all your effort into it. 

Additionally, the band members had an entire period dedicated to the band and spent the beginning of the 2019 school year all the way through November practicing every day after school until 5 pm. They had the opportunity to practice at East Los Angeles College football field where the championships were being held. 

The Maywood Strong Band performing “El Sinaloense”. By Kenneth M. Photography

To create confidence, the marching band went to perform at many events. They went to compete in competitions where the “Sound of Maywood” was heard in many high schools

This all led down to Championships, where the marching band was ready to perform their 2019 theme.

On November 23rd, 2019, the band met up at Maywood Academy High School to get ready to head over to perform at ELAC. While they were at Maywood Academy, the marching band took the time to get ready. When they arrived at ELAC they met to warm-up, run through the show, and pump themselves up. It was the first time Maywood was being represented at championships and they were ready to show what their hard work had created. The members stood tall with confidence, they talked to others in a relaxed/pumped up tone, and throughout the performance, the crowd engaged by singing along and clapping to the rhythm of the music. Before you knew it, 3 melodies later, they were done and were hanging tight for the outcomes. Although it was not what the band wanted, they received 4th place and color guard 3rd. Band member Leslie Cotto who plays mellophone shared her thoughts, “What mattered most is the experience, the experience to perform with my band family. We worked hard for that very moment and it paid off. We weren’t just playing music and having a routine, it was a show” 

Diego Alvarado holding his Baritone at a perfect angle. By Kenneth M. Photography

Senior Drum Major Stefany Silva shares her thoughts, “The band is capable of accomplishing anything and everything. It takes a group of individuals who are determined, goal-driven, and themselves.” She also said, “Thankfully, we have Mr. Smith…one of the best mentors, conductors, and teachers out there who truly care about our school and it’s students.” Mr. Smith, the band director, has confidence in his band and that, when they win the 2020 Championships, to remember, “We went on a journey, we went on this mission, and we accomplished it,” he said, “Along the way we make friends, we have fun, we break bread together, we have experiences and memories together that will last a lifetime.” 

Maywood’s Marching Band is currently recruiting new band and color guard members to join the lineup for this year’s season. Since the competitions, they’ve had the chance to perform plenty more times, such as at the Maywood City Hall for a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony, and pep rallies at our school. Here’s what they’re doing currently: they have practices after school for low brass, high brass, percussion, and color guard. Mr. Smith and the rest of the staff are looking in for this year’s theme, music, drill, and routine. The Rise of the Marching Band has commenced and now the band is pushing to win 1st Place in Division 1A in the 2020 LAUSD Championships.