Following “The Red String of Fate”

Jenna Nakanishi

At this year’s Mililani Trojan Marching Bandfest, the Trojan Marching Band showcased not only months of practice and preparation, but also their passion towards the program and their ability to put on an eye-catching show. The performance, entitled “The Red String of Fate,” included three movements: “Our Path,” “Our Destiny” and “Our Fate.” Based on a Japanese myth, it was believed that people who share important history with each other were connected by predestined red strings, tied around their pinky fingers by the gods. The performance included 161 performers across winds, percussion and color guard, and was made even more impressive by the ability of the students to perform cohesively and deliver an emotional show.

“It was so exhilarating, just seeing everyone and feeling the synergy and knowing that we were doing our best and just knowing that the audience was really receiving the message of the show, it was such a good feeling,” said Drum Major Senior Giscelle Rosario. Though Mililani was only the exhibition performance and not part of the Bandfest competition, that didn’t stop them from pushing themselves to give it their all on the field. “It’s hard to tell from a performer’s point of view, because all you can really know is what you’re doing. But from what I could see, I think we’ve had a pretty good run,” said Color Guard Captain Senior Kaili Garland.

For Band Director Derek Kaapana, it meant a lot to watch the students push themselves to do their best in performing the show he designed. “I’m always proud of the students’ success in all of our marching groups. They continue to push themselves to new heights, which in turn, pushes me to do the same,” said Kaapana. “There’s a huge sense of pride when it comes to watching my students perform. I see the huge progress that they have made from day one and I also see my vision come to life through their performance.”       

 Through events like Bandfest, students were able to connect with people from other schools around the state who share the same interests as them. “When we go to performances, we usually have a chance to talk to people from other schools and get to know people,” said Garland. “I think that’s a very interesting part of being in band, because you really wouldn’t get to talk to other people from other schools usually.”

Extensive preparation put forth by instructors and students is what enabled Bandfest to be a successful event that students found various ways to benefit from. When practicing, there’s a lot that the marching band takes into account as they prepare. “When you’re on the field, it’s really difficult to keep the timing of the music together because of phasing. You know, sound doesn’t travel as fast as light. So when you’re farther back in the field, you’re just farther away from the front; the timing gets slow,” said Rosario. “So the drum major is there so that people have a tempo to lock into, to make sure that all the music is still together, even though they’re at different places in the field.”

 This year’s Bandfest showcased not only the abilities of the Trojan Marching Band, but also proved what they’re capable of on a performance level. For the student performers, it’s about going out there to perform and represent their school by doing what they love. “The best feeling is every performance, because there’s always the strange feeling of anticipation and butterflies, but once you’re in it and you feel the energy from the crowd, it’s such a great feeling, and you feel that adrenaline rush. And then, especially at Bandfest, when we’re done performing, it’s such a great sense of accomplishment,” said Rosario.

Though the marching band season is coming to a close, the bonds of the students remain strong, and they will continue to seek improvement. “I hope that the students take away a better sense of performance quality,” said Kaapana. “Hopefully this will continue to help them improve for our upcoming trip to compete nationally at the Bands of America Championships in Indianapolis.”