HOLTVILLE — As soon at the Carrot Festival parade concluded in downtown Holtville on Feb. 8, the Holt Park gazebo was the site of an old fashioned draw down, except the weapons of choice were percussion instruments.
In what has become among the most popular of festival events, members of some of the bands who just marched in the parade set up for the drumline competition, with fans of each ensemble joined by the curious. Participants included Holtville High, Heber Elementary and Calexico High schools.
As the announcer indicated, each performed well with Holtville taking third, Heber second and Calexico first. It was a bit of revenge for the Calexico Bulldogs as Holtville had won best band in the parade.
Each team incorporated its own unique body movements with rolls, rotation, step moves, swing hips, thrusts forward, sticks in air, turns and spins. All the time the musicians played the bass drums, snares, drum quads, cymbals and sticks for an excited audience.
Family and friends were sitting on the park lawn anxiously awaiting for their teams to perform and once they drumming started, heads started to move to the beats.
Performing in the Holtville drumline were eight boys and one girl, Kassandra Fimbres, 16, who said, “I feel confident. We put the routine together within two days because we weren’t sure if we were going to have one.”
Their performance was synchronized, utilized the entire space of the gazebo, and the team appeared to love what they were doing.
The Heber Hawks had the largest amount of participants at 28. The team was well coordinated, utilized the gazebo area well and gave a strong performance.
Isaac Morales, drumline instructor, said, “I’ve been doing this for nine years. I want to express my music talent and share it with youth. I grew up playing in the Seeley Band and later in the El Centro Spartan Band. We (Heber Hawks) practice daily about an hour after school.”
The team excelled hand-head-body coordination in addition to outstanding drum and cymbal playing.
At the end of the third cadence, Emily Gomez, 17, team captain, did a stick twirl with her hand while walking back and playing drum at same time. The incorporated dance, synchronization, marching and playing instruments with just the right amount of attitude earned the team first place. When asked how she felt about her team’s performance, Gomez said of the seven girls and 14 boys on team, “We have really good players and I have had to play more with them. Practice is what makes our team really good. What separates us from others is because we spend so much time together.”
This story is featured in the Feb 13, 2020 e-Edition.