Strike up the band! Er, make that bands, plural. Six bands in all will be tooting and strutting their stuff on the turf of Veterans Stadium in Long Beach. It is the sixth annual band spectacular sponsored by Long Beach City College and featuring its Viking Show Band.
Bands from each of the five high schools in the Long Beach Unified School District will take turns performing under the floodlights, demonstrating their best routines used in parades and football halftime shows so far this academic year. And along with the bands comes their supporting cast of drill teams, baton twirlers, tall flags and rifle groups. The spectacular will involve about 550 youths. The show finale will be a pop arrangement of "Hang on Sloopy" and the patriotic "America" by all six massed bands, filling the field between the 20-yard lines with colorful uniforms and a resounding anthem.
Participating high school bands will be from Jordan, directed by Marvin Neuman; Lakewood, conducted by Ralph Siemsen; Millikan, directed by Jim Mooy; Poly, directed by Don Emmons; and Wilson, led by by Steve Fraser. Roger Johnson is the band director at City College and coordinator of the spectacular.
Who attends events such as this? Mostly parents and relatives of the performers. But it is more than just an exhibition for mom and dad. It's a fund-raising event for band student scholarships and band-related equipment. Last year's spectacular attracted more than 1,300 people and raised more than $4,000, Johnson said.
The show begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at the stadium on Clark Avenue between Carson and Conant streets, adjacent to the college Liberal Arts Campus in Long Beach. Admission is $3. The rain date is Nov. 27.