Marching band cancels performance as result of poor air quality

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The marching band cancelled their appearance at the San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade on Sunday, Nov. 11. The cancellation of their performance was the result of poor air quality from the recent Woolsey Fire.

The Woolsey Fire began on Nov. 8 in Ventura County and has since spread to the Malibu area. According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the fire has burned up to 97,620 acres and 47 percent of it has been contained as of Nov. 14. A smoke advisory was put in effect on Saturday, Nov. 10 in multiple areas including San Fernando Valley, where the parade took place.  

The marching band dedicated some time in the weeks prior to the parade to prepare for their performance.

“We had multiple playing quizzes to ensure that we had memorized our music,” Assistant Drum Major sophomore Maryann Han said. “We also had multiple Thursday after-school rehearsals dedicated to practicing for the parade. Some days we also went outside during class and marched around the track to get our reps in.”

Although some students were upset at the cancellation of their performance, there was a sense of understanding behind the motive behind the cancellation.

“Although we spent a lot of time preparing for the parade, a bit of relief came to mind,” freshman Mimi Kessler said, “I was also annoyed due to the fact that we spent so much time and put a lot of effort into preparing for the parade.”

Despite wanting to play at the parade, Han also felt relieved at the cancellation in regards to the air quality.

“I was kind of upset when I heard we wouldn’t be playing because we have not done a parade yet and it would have been our first parade of the year,” Han said. “But it was also kind of a relief because everyone was aware of the bad air quality and especially since we are playing instruments, it probably would not have been to the benefit of our health if we went.”

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