A Charred Championship


The recent school closures mean more that a few days off school to the TOHS marching band; they mean not getting to attend their biggest competition, the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association Championships.

To qualify, the band needed to record three scores, but they were only able to record two. However, had their last two performances not been cancelled, the team would have four scores.

“For a variety of reasons that were out of our hands, all more important than a band competition, we were not able to perform on Nov. 10 at the Moorpark Tournament,” band director Anthony Martone said.

The team was unable to compete at no fault of their own, so they tried to appeal to the SCSBOA committee.

“[They] heard the consideration and felt that no allowance could be made,” Martone said. “Although it is tough to take, as we anticipated a different end to our season, I believe that during this off-season, [due to] the conditions and fire season that we have been experiencing over the past decade, there will be discussion on possible changes to the format for allowance in such conditions again.”

Camarillo, Oak Park, Newbury Park and Westlake’s marching seasons were also affected in the same way Thousand Oaks’ was.

“Everyone [is] pretty upset. We understood why we couldn’t [compete] because of all the tragic things, but it was [upsetting] because we put in so many hours of work each day and then all of the sudden the season ended two weeks early,” junior drum major Jackson Waters said.

Some believe the band should have competed more earlier in the season, so they could still compete at SCSBOA.

“The shooting and fires came at the end of the season there were still 30+ events they could have participated in,” @truthhurtsover1 said on Twitter. “They chose to only choose the minimum events.”

In response, Martone said, “There is a bigger picture here than competition.  Our community was in turmoil with the events that unfolded, and safety and health are most important. When we choose the events we attend they are based on quite a few factors [such as] Budget (transportation), venue (Quality of stadium), etc.”

To make up for their last competition falling through, TOHS Saugus, Oak Park, Camarillo and Newbury Park High marching bands are inviting the community to come to their last performance at the TOHS stadium on Nov. 30.

“It’s a performance to show that our Thousand Oaks spirit is still strong after the tragic events that happened recently,” Waters said. “So it’s bittersweet.”