By CLAIRE ST. JOHN
Bow ties, cummerbunds and suspenders dominated Dunlavy Field last night as the annual band revue drew thousands of spectators.
Elementary and high school marching bands from Tuolumne and Calaveras counties took turns wowing the audience with jazz standards, old favorites and Top 40 pop songs.
Sponsored by Sonora High School, the revue is a chance for bands to perform for each other and catch a glimpse of what each will do for Saturday's Roundup Parade.
Bands were introduced by size, starting with the smallest the Avery Middle School Marching Hawks and ending with a mass performance of "America, the Beautiful."
In between, both private and public schools took turns standing on the damp track and facing the capacity audience with horns polished.
The 40-member Mother Lode Adventist Junior Academy band performed "Land of a Thousand Dances." Their black T-shirts were embellished with purple bow ties and pink boutonnieres.
Curtis Creek added a flag troupe to the mix, and seven girls waved the Mustang emblem in unison. The Marching Mustang Band was also the first to use creative marching techniques, shuffling members like a deck of cards until perfect rows formed from the swirling group.
The Sierra Waldorf School Marching Band received a special introduction by Master of Ceremonies Pat Sieben also director of the Golden Regiment marching band because the Waldorf group was being led by two members of the Sonora High band.
Zoe McDonnell and Bret Malley chose to teach and direct the private school band as their senior projects this year, and both stood proudly by as the elementary students performed.
As each band marched off the field to a drum cadence or snare clicks, Sieben intoned "outstanding" on his echoing microphone. The compliment was often repeated to individual members as they returned to their bleacher seats.
And despite Sieben's warnings that the event would be filled with down time as bands moved on and off the field, the audience was perfectly content to be entertained by the Golden Regiment and Summerville High School's Orange Crush band as they took turns playing rock songs by AC/DC and Smashmouth, among others.
"Outstanding," Sieben said of the event.