The Aztec Marching Band from 1979 to 1987 saw some momentous events. We were never a very large band, 50-55 musicians (jr.hi bands at the time were very small and didn’t send us many freshman) but we were known for our excellent marching and showmanship scores as well as 450 to 460 (out of 500) music scores.
’79-’82 were transition years from the “Landis” band which had a great reputation. Starting in the fall of ’82 with Drum Major Kevin Massie our band started placing in every event we entered (one every weekend for 8 weeks). This was still the era of major Band reviews, Chino, Montclair, Arcadia, National City and the All-Western in Long Beach. The band placed no lower than third that year and for the first and only time as far as I know, placed first at Arcadia playing “Eagle Squadron”.
Over the next five years the band would place either first or sweepstakes in each of these events. We were also the only Azusa band to win the title of “Blue Ribbon Band” at the L.A. County Fair (banner picture). During these years the band took week-long tours to Sacramento, San Francisco and Arizona where we marched in the Tucson and Phoenix Rodeo parades. We purchased a 28′ band trailer from money raised from the field tournament we hosted. It was custom painted and pulled by a van painted the same way donated by Mr. Acosta of Acosta Nurseries. His son Adrian was Drum Major from ’85-’86 (see drum major list)
In 1987 my final competition with band took us to the Maytime Band Review. We were small that year and only 25 students were allowed to march through competition (those that had “passed-off” the march). Under Drum Major Chris Massie ’86-’87, Kevin’s brother, we won the high marching score, the high showmanship score and Sweepstakes – the first time since 1965, beating bands three and four times our size again playing “Eagle Squadron”
September 1979 – June 1987