EL MONTE – Arroyo High School’s (AHS) Band and Color Guard students cheered with joy as they celebrated their gold medal victory at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) 5A Division Championships held in Long Beach in November – the first gold medal earned in Arroyo High and El Monte Union band history.
With a score of 92.1, Arroyo was ranked first out of 17 high school teams that competed over seven weeks to earn a spot to compete in the finals. Prior to winning the gold medal, Arroyo earned four bronze medals in 2016, 2017, 2021 and 2022.
“Winning a gold medal my senior year is an incredibly rewarding feeling,” said AHS senior Lesly Macias, who serves as the Band and Color Guard president and as a section leader. “I have spent all four years in the band program and after dedicating hours upon hours of rehearsal, week after week, it fills me with an overwhelming sense of pride and joy to earn a gold medal in my final marching season. I feel honored to be a part of this amazing experience; I have made so many friends and countless memories. Thank you to all the staff who were involved in making our field show so fun and exciting for us to perform. I’ll absolutely never forget today.”
Called “Forbidden,” Arroyo’s original show was arranged by the band’s Percussion Section Captain Head, Christian Do, alongside Director Joe Massaro with melodies taken from Sergei Rachmaninoff’s “Prelude in C# minor” and Chris Issak’s “Wicked Game.”
“When I saw the recap scores posted, I was in shock and immediately the tears started to flow,” Massaro said. “We have been competing in this championship every year since 2013 and it has felt like this was a long time coming. The students’ performance was electric and super-charged with energy despite the long day. This accolade was very well-deserved, and I am so proud of my students and the hard work they have put in.”
The Arroyo Knights faced off against bands from across the region including Santa Monica, Westview, Chino, Los Osos, Rancho Buena Vista, Bonita, Redondo Union, Glen A Wilson, Murrieta Mesa, La Mirada, Sierra Vista, Savanna, Ramona, Loara and Fallbrook high schools.
“I am immensely proud of Arroyo High School’s Band and Color Guard for their outstanding performance and their journey to this remarkable achievement,” Superintendent Dr. Edward Zuniga said. “Thank you to Mr. Massaro for his incredible leadership and support of our band students and program. This win not only showcases the musical prowess of our Arroyo Knights but also exemplifies the dedication and teamwork fostered within our District’s talented student body.”
EMUHSD_AHS BAND_1: Arroyo High School’s Band and Color Guard accept their award for gold after competing in the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) 5A Division Championships in November.
EMUHSD_AHS BAND_2: Arroyo High School’s band members celebrate as they receive their gold medals at the November Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) 5A Division Championships.
EMUHSD_AHS BAND_3: Arroyo High School’s Color Guard members are all smiles as they triumph with gold at the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) 5A Division Championships.