MHS Ranks 29th In Boa


Maiya Ezawa, Community Editor

    From Nov. 7 to Nov. 10, the MHS Marching Band took part in the Bands of America (BOA) Competition in Indianapolis, Indiana. This year marked their second time participating in the event, where they made semi finals for the first time and ranked 29th place out of 100, and won the Al Castronovo Esprit de Crops Award for a demonstration of character and passion on the trip. They performed their show, “The Red String of Fate.”

    “It becomes so much a part of who we are. The show is really meant to communicate that we are who we are because of the people around us and the people that we have come to meet through the program and I think that when we performed the show, a lot of people could see and feel the bond that we all share.” said Drum Line Major Senior Giscelle Rosario. While the bands from the mainland entered BOA after various regional competitions, Hawaii bands entered straight into preliminaries due to the geographical circumstances. “For us, we entered the competition at the preliminary stage and that’s the farthest we went last time we traveled in 2015. This time we advanced to the semi finals where we placed 29th overall out of 100 bands. The top 12 bands from semi finals then advance to finals. The competition in Indiana is very intimidating because we were competing with bands that were double our size and who had competed in BOA for several years and have made it to finals several times whereas this was only our second time competing,” said Rosario.

    Improving on last year’s performance, the MHS Marching Band was able to reach the goal they had set for themselves this season, improving on last year’s rank. “I had the honor of standing on that field and representing my band. Waiting through all 36 bands called to participate in semi finals, Miliani was called dead last. At that point we had all accepted that we hadn’t made it to semis, but suddenly everything turned around. I was shocked,” said Color Guard Head Captain Senior Kaili Garland.

    In addition to competing, MHS students also represented the school’s reputation on the mainland. “My experience as a chaperone for the band was very rewarding and I appreciated being with such a great group of students who are very well mannered and disciplined. The students were very good ambassadors of Mililani High School.  The students exhibited a responsible commitment to society by showing respect and responsibility to everyone. Their actions and behaviors a true reflection of their director expectations of well discipline and productive family,” said Mililani Waena Elementary School Principal Troy Tamura.

    One of the challenges in competing with the mainland bands lay in the magnitude of their program—they had more resources to pull from when creating their shows. “We all watch the finalists and the professional bands who perform things out of our wildest dreams. The biggest difference I see between our band and those that reach finals on the mainland, is sheer size and production quality. Bigger bands can have multiple directors and endless paid staff to help improve the band but we operate off a single director and a handful of alumni,” said Garland.

    However, they overcame this by focusing on the significance of their theme, “The Red String of Fate,” and the dedication of their performers. “‘The Red String of Fate’ is inspired by a Chinese proverb that we are all connected by the red string of fate and although it may stretch or tangle, it will never break. I think what our director, Mr. (Derek) Kaapana, really wanted to do this year was show the kind of relationships we form through our experiences with the Trojan Marching Band,” said Rosario.

    The BOA competition marked the last performance of this marching band season.