Marching with Purpose


Sienna Brown, Reporter

The James Campbell High School (JCHS) Marching Band reported to the band room at 1pm on November 3rd for a final three-hour practice before their second competition of the season. The 42nd annual Kamehameha Tournament of Bands hosted marching bands from all over the island, also featuring the Hawaii All-State Marching Band.

The JCHS band arrived at 6 o’clock to set up in one of the many gyms before being released for an hour-long dinner break. As the students ate their dinner, they talked about the coming performance and cheered for other bands as they made their way to the field.

Armando Langaman, JCHS Band Director, encouraging students before their performance. Photo by Sienna Brown

After close to an hour of warm ups following their dinner break, the band formed a circle around the gym linking arms. Middle C sounds briefly, allowing the band to tune before they all sang the alma mater.  The scene inspired everyone in the room. Band director Armando Langaman stood in the center of the circle, eyes closed, singing along, completely filled with undeniable school spirit and faith in his students. In that moment, the practices starting in July and countless hours spent after school– sometimes until 8pm– were completely worth it.

After a final pep talk from both band directors, the students grabbed their instruments, put on their shakos and lined up, prepared for their walk to the football field. Other bands cheered as the JCHS band passed, wishing them luck as they did for them. The drum majors ran through the performance one last time as they waited outside of the gate, anxiously listening to the current performance.

As the band walked onto the field, they focused on nothing other than their show Over the Rainbow. Through the light evening rain, they performed and left everything on the field just as they w

ere taught. The judges took their notes throughout the performance and continued to do so as the band walked off the field, marching all the way to their seats.

Drum majors pose with trophies for their award-winning performance. Photo by Sienna Brown

Three bands performed after the JCHS band, including the Hawaii All-State band led by the founder of Tournament of Bands. Awards were finally presented at 10:15 pm. The band was exhausted and long past ready for bed when it was announced that they had won third place in Overall Performance and earned a festival rating of Good.

The bands and audience were officially dismissed at 10:30pm though the JCHS band spent their time before individual dismissal mingling with other bands past 11pm. After the long trek back to the gym, the band put away their instruments and gathered around band director Gregg Akamine for a final thank you and congratulations before heading out to the buses. Everyone was exhausted and talking quietly on the way back to the school.

The night finally ended at midnight when the buses pulled into the parking lot and opened their doors though the last student did not leave until well past one in the morning. The night was over and the students headed home for a good night’s sleep and a relaxing Sunday before coming back to school on Monday morning for a quick run-through and their next competition that night.