March on with the Band Q&A: Capistrano Valley High School

Photos Credit/Laura Salem


With their student section busy throwing powder up in the air, the Capistrano Valley of Mission Viejo Band is on the other side providing a party in the stand from side to side.

Plus, one group picks up after the other and get involved with the cheer squad.

While the Cougars provide the entertainment on the field, the Capo Valley Band provides in the stands and the fans appreciate it all around.

We spoke with seniors Maya Salem, Ben Young, Ashley Intveld, Emily Phu, Carli Torres and juniors Cassidy Hanks and Ari Wohl on what it takes to get ready every Friday night.

Let’s march in with the band from Capistrano Valley!

What is the weekly routine to prepare for a football game and the halftime show? Are there adjustments made every week?

Maya Salem: The fall season is mainly dedicated to preparing the halftime show. With rehearsals beginning during the summer to our final performance in late November, the students, the band director, and auxiliary coaches devote tireless hours of work. Between each Saturday competition, we try our best to tediously refine the music and visuals for the following week’s performance. Despite the countless hours–throughout summers, after school, and on weekends–after a number of years, the demanding schedule brings a rewarding sense of accomplishment. 

Do you enjoy the game or follow it as it goes along or are you focused with your job?

Ben Young: Playing in the stands means coordinating a lot of things at once, not only what’s happening in the game, but also with the cheer team and amongst ourselves. As the drum major, my job is to make sure the band starts and stops playing together and so during the game I am closely following the game so I know when we can and can’t play. Nothing is more exciting than when the team makes a touchdown and we play the fight song! 

Do you play any pop culture songs and if so, which is your favorite?

Ari Wohl: We get the opportunity to play a lot of pop culture songs and it is a lot of fun to play songs that the student section knows to not only keep them cheering for the team, but also cheer for us. One of the most fun things about playing in the band is getting the opportunity to support our football team, especially when we win. After victories, we get to play, “All I Do Is Win” which is a lot of fun because the student knows the songs and will sometimes sing along. 

What kind of appreciation do you get from people at the games?

Ashley Intveld: In itself, football games are one of the best experiences of being in marching band. We are given the opportunity to not only support our team and school, but also receive a lot of appreciation from the crowd. As we march on the field before the game, the student section chants our name. They sing to our playing of the national anthem, and we are sent off in high spirits. Our efforts are rewarded again when the crowd goes nuts during our halftime show. Although competitions are thrilling, nothing can compare to the cheers and support of our own peers.

Do you guys interact with the Student Section?

Cassidy Hanks: One of our drum cadences encourages the student section to participate in cheering with the band. Along with the student section, the Cheer and Song squad have requested that we play this cadence more than once, and it’s always fun to see the participation.

What is the funniest or most embarrassing moment as a member of the band/color guard?

Emily Phu: Seeing me, a small person of about 5 feet and zero inches, marching with a drum the size of myself is in itself a funny sight. However, getting run over by the person carrying the even bigger drum behind me during a football game in front of the entire student section was both the funniest and most embarrassing moments I’ve had as a member of the band.

Any other band that you enjoy hearing from the other side of the stadium?

Carli Torres: We all love getting to see other groups and cheering each other on! The marching band community is very welcoming and it’s great to see how supportive bands are to each other despite the competitive aspect of the activity.