The 95 degree heat wasn't the only thing that was hot at the Big Fresno Fair on Thursday. The Burton Bulldog Marching Band also heated things up to win the Big Fresno Fresno Fair Band Review Grand Sweepstakes Award, the highest award a band could receive at the competition.
“The band has been working outside in the heat for the last 5 weeks preparing for this event and the upcoming band season,” Burton band director Jack Amaral said. “Students have been memorizing music, routines, and counts to perfect their performance. It all came together on Thursday.”
Along with the Grand Sweepstakes Award, drum major Yara Touma placed first, the band placed first in marching, second in music and third in showmanship and the identification unit took second.
“During my routine I felt very shaky but felt confident in the hard work that I put in and knew it would pay off,” Touma said. “The anticipation of waiting to hear Burton's name during the award getting called was very nerve racking but exciting.”
Identification captain Azlyn McMillan also said she was proud of her unit. “I'm so proud of us and how far we've come as a team,” she said. “Looking back from yesterday we did pretty well but there are a few things that we still need to work on. I'm so happy all the hard work that we all put in is paying off.”
“The students are ramping up for their marching season,” Amaral said. He added the band has set its sights on one of the state's largest band reviews. The Santa Cruz Beach Band Review on Saturday, October 15.
That event hosts the top 60 bands in the state. “Burton is looking to make waves in Santa Cruz,” Amaral said.
The band will also perform in Fowler on October 22, in Pismo Beach on November 5 and at the Veterans Day Parade and Buck Shaffer Band-A-Rama on November 11.
“A big thank you goes out to the parents who chaperoned and made the trip to support the band,” Amaral said. “It was hard work keeping up hydrating students.”
“I felt pretty hot during the performance but afer we finished and took our uniforms off it was much better,” seventh grade trumpet player Isaac Gonzalez said. “It was really fun walking around the fair checking out all the booths and snakes exhibits.”
The band also had the chance to march on the Fresno Fairgrounds horse racing track. “It was a really cool experience to march on the race track for the first time,” seventh grade baritone saxaphone player Boden Mounce said. “I felt confident in the hard work that we had put in.”
To stay up to date with the Burton Bulldog Band and Burton Middle School visit Instagram at burton_bulldogs.