March on with the Band Q&A: Carlsbad Marching Lancers

Photo Credits/Jon Guffin & Patrick Wong


With great student sections comes great marching bands.

The Carlsbad Loud Crowd is a Dynasty of a Student Section and while you think the Carlsbad Lancer Marching Band gets overshadowed, think again!

The Marching Band knows that they also have to take it up a notch when facing steamers and loud music, but they’re up to the task to provide an entertaining show in the stands while everyone sees the entertainment of one of the best teams in Southern California.

Ultimately, The Loud Crowd and the Lancer Marching Band was no match for the Carlsbad football team, ranked No. 9 on SoCal and No. 2 in San Diego by SoCal Student Sections, as they were a touchdown short from taking the CIF-San Diego Open Division Title.

It was quite the season for Carlsbad, on the field and in the stands.

We spoke with the Director of the Marching Lancers, Peter Manzi, as well as Drum Major of the Marching Lancers, Koji Bryson, and Drumline Captain of the Marching Lancers Jackson Ferber on what it takes to keep up with the amazing product on the field week after week.

Let’s March in with the Carlsbad Marching Lancers!

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

Manzi: During the school year we rehearse Tuesday and Thursday night for three hours as well as after school on Friday Game Days. This schedule is the same throughout the school year as we prepare our competition field show for halftime at the football games. Our only adjustment during the season is during Homecoming week when we rehearse with our amazing cheer, dance teams, and homecoming court for a combined Lancer Day halftime routine.  


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

Manzi: I get to watch a good portion of the game as we are there to support and encourage the team.  We’re always well aware of what is going on on the field so we can choose what music we play next. By the end of the season I can really sit back and enjoy the games as our fantastic drum major along with our Loud Crowd and cheer captains really run the show from the sidelines!

Bryson: As a Drum Major, a large portion of my job revolves around being prepared to communicate with the other sections as well as the band itself to play at appropriate times. The main focus is usually on the game and what is happening but we still find time to enjoy ourselves and have fun while we are up there.

Ferber: I’d say I spend roughly the same amount of time enjoying the game as I do paying attention to my job and performing for the stands. 


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

Bryson: One song we play that usually gets a lot of cheer is the “Hey Song” which many students can clap along to and get everyone hyped. I like the upbeat and fun atmosphere to it.

Ferber: We usually stick to the classic stadium tunes. But occasionally, in past years, we’ve played “Don’t Stop Believing” and that was a total hit. 

Favorite song/routine to play during a game? 

Bryson: During a game, playing our timeout music in the stands to cheer on the football team is really fun and is my favorite part. 

Ferber: At the start of every football game, we march around the field on the track. As a drumline, together we play our cadence, and I have to say, it’s a pretty groovy beat. That’s got to be my favorite thing to play because it gets us all hyped up for another great game. 


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

Manzi: One of the unique traditions at Carlsbad is before the game the band marches around the track.  At the center of the stands, we salute both the home and then visitors side fans. It’s so great seeing both our home and visiting fans applaud and thank the band. The halftime crowd is electric as we perform sections of our competition show.  

Bryson: A lot of people recognize us due to our uniforms and congratulate and thank us for putting on great performances. Some have even given gifts of Red Vines or candy to thank us for the job we have done. The cheer of the crowd is enough appreciation in itself though.

Ferber: We get all sorts of appreciation from the games. We’d have random people from the stands and staff members come down and compliment us on our half time show, even as we’d walk back from the stadium, some officers and security guards would tell us what a great job we did. 


Do you guys interact with the Student Section?

Manzi: Many times throughout the game we interact with our student section.  We begin and end our pregame walk around the track playing the fight song for our crowd. Additionally we assist them in the tunnel welcoming our players to the field. During the game we trade off performing and playing music with our Loud Crowd DJ and Cheer team.  The cheer team also set routines to our music. Also during the game sections will play songs on the track for our loud crowd! We end each game playing the Carlsbad HS Alma Mater with cheer/dance/Loud Crowd and Football team singing along with us! At the end of the day we are one big Lancer family whether we win or lose the game!

Bryson: We always communicate with the Loud Crowd to organize when we will play certain songs and some sections of the band go in front of our Loud Crowd to play special tunes just for them. We all love to get our student section cheering and having a great time

Ferber: We do interact with our amazing student section!! At the start of every game, our band does a salute to our student section and to the opposing side. Then we’d proceed to play our fight song with our student section and cheer team. 


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

Bryson: One of the funniest moments I remember during games is when the band goof Brayden Korgan stands up and starts dancing for anyone who is willing to watch him. He always cracks me up and shows how band kids can get the party started.

Ferber: My most embarrassing moment in band was when I came to practice before a football game and as we were getting into uniform, I realized I had brought two left shoes. So for the entire game and the whole halftime show, I was wearing two left shoes on my feet the whole time. 


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

Manzi: As we don’t travel to away games, I don’t get to hear many other bands on Friday nights, however I got the opportunity to hear the Helix band at this year’s CIF Open Division Championships and they sounded great on the field and in the stands that evening!

Bryson: A lot of our members in band have friends in the Mission Hills band so it is always fun watching them play and cheering them on.

Ferber: We love watching and supporting our friends in the San Marcos Knight Regiment