SCV Does Texas

July 17, 2014

It’s true, everything is bigger in Texas, especially Vanguard love. Nearly one-third of our members come from Texas. It’s a huge marching band state and the audiences are on fire with excitement, motivating us to work even harder—weather permitting.




The energy during our practice here is palpable. Look at this crowd. 


It might not look like much, but this was a Wednesday night after a one-hour rain delay. Texans know how to support Vanguard, and boy do they treat us right. Several of the members have gotten to see their family and friends during breaks. We’re most definitely feeling the love.





And of course, we support Texas. Check out our white board that Charlie designed.


Bring on the lone star state camaraderie and apparel!


Our first show in Texas is in Denton where many members of the Percussion section attend the University of North Texas. 

To say we’re excited to be in Texas is an understatement.

And we couldn’t do it without our friends and family, and the volunteers here on tour with us, especially the Miss Amana food truck volunteers for feeding us!


Oh, and for the record, this crew hardly ever gets to relax. Cooking for several hundred people is no easy task.

It’s down pouring out there, yet our members are still rehearsing and working hard. That’s dedication.


Here’s to three more exciting days in Texas! Houston, we’re coming for you next! Make sure to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for up-to-the-minute pictures and postings. Tag your photos with #SCV2014 too!

Behind the Scenes at Mile High

July 14, 2014

We’ve been hitting the pavement hard since our last post and are still going strong here in Missouri today. The past few days we spent in Colorado practicing and rehearsing for our big show, Drums Along the Rockies at the Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colorado. scv_rainbow1 scv_rainbow2 Our Drum Major, Noe Gomez, confidently led the members through rain and shine. Noe_major These 12-hour rehearsal days are no easy conquest. After a rainy night, there was an overload of bugs on the field, yet the Front Ensemble played on and the Corps continued their march forward. scv_practice1 scv_practice2 scv_practice3 You know the members are dedicated when they continue to work hard without complaining, even in the high altitudes in Colorado. We all made sure to constantly stay hydrated in order to avoid altitude sickness or dehydration, especially with these long practice days. Our show day weather in Denver was a little overcast, but we were fortunate enough to miss the rain. The show must go on! walking_to_warmup Some of the Horn Line members were looking forward to “ringing the horn” more because they are finally at a level where they can match in sound. “There’s more space for things to ring off of in the Denver stadium,” Lead Baritone player, Ethan said. “It’s a big venue and we get a a lot of energy because of that. Also, I love the Denver show because of the stadium and the potential rain threat. You can hear the thunder from afar, which has an awesome musical impact. It’s dark outside and you see just the street lights.” Perfect for Vanguard to perform and win first place. colorguard_warmupAfter weeks of practice, the members were excited to see the other corps at one of the biggest shows of the summer. This was the first show of the season where both east and west corps came together to perform. Even though it was overcast, the night had a nice chill, free of extreme humidity and perfect for performing. scv_denver The Sports Authority High Stadium, 5,280 feet above sea level, featured the performers on the stadium monitors and it was even televised locally.mile_high Waiting underneath the stadium, the Corps warmed up together and helped each other find focus. scv_focus scv_warmup Vanguard was announced and the Corps marched onto the field to perform. SCV_Denver And just like that, we received our highest score of the season, 85.25 and took first place! To see more photos, check out our Facebook page!

July 4th Recap

July 7, 2014

We hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July. Both of our Corps stayed busy marching and performing to celebrate the birth of America.

To honor America, the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets participated in two parades.


The Corps split into two units to perform in parades in Newark, and Morgan Hill, Ca. There, the corps marched a simple parade route of about 1 mile to viewing spectators.



After the parades, both groups met at the Corps Hall (SCV Headquarters) for lunch before heading over for a standstill performance at California’s Great America theme park.


With the grand carousel as background, the Corps played their 2014 program “The Road Not Taken” along with additional pieces from the Percussion and Horn Line.



After the performance, members were dismissed for the rest of the day to enjoy the park, ride a few roller coasters and hang out with friends and family.



The Santa Clara Vanguard was further up north in Seaside, Oregon for their performances.


The day began with breakfast and a warmup before heading over to march in the Seaside 4th of July Parade.


While waiting for the parade to begin, the Color Guard got to meet one of their biggest fans.


Meanwhile, members of the Pit got to work as the hydration team.


Let the parade begin!



The crowd was full of energy and spirit as they watched the Vanguard march down the street.



After the parade, Vanguard headed back to the buses for lunch, followed by a warm-up for their Scheherazade performance at the local Seaside Park.



They ended with a patriotic stand-still performance to end the show.


Once the performance was over, the Vanguard had a free day to see the fireworks and enjoy the holiday!


Catching up with the Vanguard Cadets

July 6, 2014

Vanguard Cadets: Interview with Assistant Corps Director Mannie Cabarloc

In the midst of an important weekend of competition in the Bay Area with their show “The Road Not Taken,” the Santa Clara Vanguard Cadets are in the midst of another successful season. We had a chance to interview Mannie Cabarloc, Assistant Corps Director, to find out how things have been going for the Corps.

How is your season going?

This season we came out of the gate on fire! There is a great vibe every day at rehearsal and both staff and members are always taking it to the next level. The members are getting stronger day by day, and their performance at shows is displaying it. 

What are you expecting the audience to understand from the show?

That life is a journey and we all are given choices. Some we have to work and fight for, and some blessings in disguise. 

Our show is very demanding, and we are asking a lot from our members. But at the end of the day, the audience will always take away with them their own ideas and feelings about the show.

Are there certain parts of the show you want to highlight for the audience?

Everything! There are so many layers and elements to our show. Every time I watch the run through, I see something new. We just want the audience to enjoy what the members are doing on the field.

How is the travel and daily routine going, especially for the younger and newer members?

The traveling has been easy since we are still local and are waiting to depart on our National Tour at the end of July. The Corps finished its first mini tour with a week of local “9-9s” and another week of overnights in Denair, CA. While in Denair, we finished the show and had a special performance for the local community. That led into our three-show weekend, awarding us 1st place at all shows: Clovis, Stanford, and Sacramento. We then gave the members four days off to spend time with family and came back on fire with a late June camp right before our fourth [competition] at Pacific Procession in Santa Clara. 

What is the age range for the Corps?

SCVC allows members from the ages of 14-21, with an average age of 17. Our members come from local surrounding cities, and from other states as far as Oregon, Texas, and even Hawaii. 

Where are you in your production schedule? Have you finished the show?

Our main mission was to have a complete show on the field by our first competition in Clovis. We met that goal, and are now adding and developing the show even more. The members are like sponges and take to the new changes quickly, allowing our creative staff to add even more. We will continue to add and develop the show all the way up until Finals.

After another 1st place finish last night in Sacramento, you can see the defending DCI Open Class Champion Vanguard Cadets today in Pleasant Hill, CA. Next weekend, they’ll travel to Southern California for their final weekend of competitions before their long tour begins. Their season culminates at the DCI Open Class Championships in Michigan City, IN on August 4, with more performances in Indianapolis later in the week at the DCI World Class Championships. More information can be found at

Special thanks to Vanguard Cadets parent Yong The for the great photos!

Pacific Procession: a day to celebrate the SCV family

July 4, 2014

It was a warm, breezy day on June 8, 1968 when the Santa Clara Vanguard first competed in the Pacific Procession, named after that year’s opener, “Procession of the Nobles.” 


The crowd was cheery, albeit scarce because of the recent death of Senator Robert Kennedy.

Click here to read more about the first show.

We’ve come quite a long way since that first show. This past Tuesday, we performed at Pacific Procession on a beautiful day for a sold out crowd at Santa Clara High School, just down the road from our the Corps Hall.



On performing for alumni, Horn Sergeant Blake French said, “sometimes we can lose sight, so we just need to focus for two hours beforehand.” 


Just like any show, the corps is instructed to “do their job, even though they know what to do. Sometimes they just need reminding.”


“The coolest part was getting to perform for not only the alumni, but also the Cadet Corps,” said second year Color Guard Member Michelle Anderson.


“We don’t see them again until finals and the growth we witness is astonishing – they are the future and we look up to them just as they look up to us.”



Tim Biles, Section Leader of the Quad Line, got the privilege of being introduced to a couple of alumni. “It’s really nice getting to meet alumni or people who support the corps,” he said. “The Cadet Corps did really well. We got to eat and hang out with their Quad Line.”


“I like the fact that we’ve been doing really well in drums and the full Corps has been impressive. I’m excited to be on our own for a bit before showing up for the rest of the competitors on the East Coast.”


It was a very memorable evening, and as always, the Corps was excited to perform for so many people within the organization, right in SCV’s backyard. 

Friendship in the Corps

July 2, 2014

We’re in Cambria, California for a full day of rehearsal in between our Santa Clara and Riverside shows.




Last night at the Western Corps Connection show in Riverside, we finished the show by playing a little tribute to Ray Velarde, an SCV member who was driving home one night from camp in 1999 and got in a car accident with his brother Art, another SCV member, who sadly passed away.


Every year at Riverside, we do a tribute song for him, and it’s extremely moving and emotional.

When it comes down to it, the support we give and receive from one another is what makes us a strong Corps. The relationships made over the summer will last a lifetime for members and the experiences are truly one of a kind.




On a lighter note, our new drums arrived last week, and they’ve been a total hit. (Pun intended)


Our First Performance

June 21, 2014

After four weeks of all-day rehearsals, it was time to leave our temporary home in Tollhouse, California and head to our first show of the season in Clovis, California.



Hello Clovis, we have arrived!



It was an exciting day for everyone; the crowd was cheering and the Corps was ready to rock.


The energy of the stadium fed off Vanguard’s performance.


We felt it was a strong debut performance of the highly anticipated 2014 Santa Clara Vanguard production, Scheherazade.


After the show, the group came back to the buses, put instruments away, stretched, and enjoyed snack time with members from other DCI corps. Shortly thereafter, we hit the road for Stanford.


Now we’re off to our second performance of the season and we’re so excited to see all our fans and donors.

Let’s get it done, SCV!


Kicking it off in Tollhouse

June 19, 2014

We’re here in Tollhouse, California gearing up for our very first competition of the summer in Clovis, California for the Mid Cal Tour of Champions this Friday.


Each morning, the members wake up at 7:30 AM for a big breakfast before breaking off into sectionals. Later in the evening, the sections come back together to piece together choreography and music in ensemble rehearsal. It’s coming along, and we’re eager to kick off the competition season!


From putting together instruments to painting the field, this group is on fire, and no small task will hold them back!



A few shots of our members putting the time in and working hard.



The members of our Corps all receive this star to wear on their left chest of their uniform since 1972. Brass and percussion received theirs this week and color guard will get theirs at the end of the season on finals day.


We’ve enjoyed Tollhouse thus far, but we’re ready and excited to get on the road and see the other groups at the competitive DCI events this summer.


We’ll be posting to the blog at least once a week, so be sure and check back regularly!

By the way, I’m Alex, your new social media informant. When I’m not snapping pictures and taking notes on the Corps, you can find me working on my yoga moves in hopes of joining the Color Guard.


SCVonTour: Memorial Day Weekend & Move-In

May 30, 2014
It was a busy Memorial Day weekend in the South Bay as nearly 150 members of the 2014 Santa Clara Vanguard descended on The King’s Academy in Sunnyvale, CA for the kick-off of the summer! The vast majority of the brass and color guard sections arrived Friday evening and were joined by the percussion section, who had nearly commandeered a Virgin America flight to SFO and another flight to SJC from the Dallas area, after a week of rehearsals at University of North Texas.
ImageOn Sunday afternoon, the trek to our far Northern California home at College of the Siskiyous in Weed, CA began at 2PM. We’ve been heading to COS for our pre-tour for the last six years. Everyone who attends is always in awe of the incredible surroundings of towering pine trees, the huge number and size of pine cones, the calm and remoteness of the area and the incredible majesty and power of Mt. Shasta, directly behind us. We feel privileged to be in such a spot – nearly 4000 feet above sea level – to begin our summer each year, and are subconsciously inspired by our surroundings to step up our level of awareness.
Mornings are brisk, afternoons intense and evenings are cool and the perfect atmosphere for full-corps or music ensemble rehearsals. The corps is working their way through the program and are slowly getting to see some of the enhancements being used to create the program. These are exciting times for SCV members, as Scheherazade begins to relive her life-saving tales of magic and adventure.

Audition Weekend in Dallas, TX

November 26, 2013


Blistering cold weather, construction traffic near DFW and near sleet conditions could not stop the first 2014 Santa Clara Vanguard Clinic & Audition weekend from beginning on Friday night November 22, at Richland High School in North Richland Hills, TX.

While the only camp rehearsal scheduled to begin Friday night was percussion – brass and color guard were doing a late check-in and registration – there were enough guard members present to hold an impromptu pre-camp sectional in the gym and the brass worked on their individual playing technique and became familiar with the Vanguard’s Yamaha brass instruments. The snare drums owned the auditorium, while the front ensemble, tenors and bass drums were set up in classrooms appropriate for the number of players and size of instruments.


While pizza was the most adaptable meal to serve for snack on Friday night, the Richland High School Band Boosters were prepared to feed the Clinic & Audition crowd the rest of the weekend. After Friday night introductions by Percussion Arranger/composer and Caption Manager Paul Rennick to all the assembled percussion candidates, the percussion staff jumped into instruction mode, and the visual, brass and color guard staff were on their game, ready to go, early Saturday morning.

Click here for more information on how to audition for the 2014 Santa Clara Vanguard!

Guard and Brass started Saturday with a stretch in their own gyms, leading to a session focusing on the techniques necessary for success in the coming summer. Saturday saw the arrival of a few more candidates for all sections, as some Friday night football performances, as well as safe travel through the inclement weather and annoying road construction, took precedence.


Individual audition sessions lasted all of Saturday, while the ensemble sections were learning routines that would allow them to complete their auditions within small groups on Sunday morning. A one-hour brass and percussion ensemble Saturday evening allowed the members of the music ensemble to sight read through a piece from Phantom of the Opera, allowing the prospectives to focus on their adaptability to new music being placed in front of them. It turned out to be an impressive and entertaining session for everyone.

Remaining #SCV2014 Audition Dates:
12/1: Indianapolis (brass/battery) & Pasadena (brass/battery/color guard)
12/8: Orlando (color guard)
12/13-15: San Jose (all sections)
12/20-22: Vanguard Cadets – San Jose (all sections)
12/21: Houston (brass)

Sunday brought threatening weather in the afternoon, and while a few flights were cancelled at DFW, the camp was able to reach its scheduled conclusion by noon and everyone driving was able to depart well-before any of the weather became treacherous. This is the fourth year in a row that SCV has hosted a season-opening Clinic & Audition weekend in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and our third straight year at RHS. We truly appreciate the hospitality of the Richland High School band program and their fantastic boosters!


SCV is off to a great start, would like to thank and encourage all of those prospective members who were able to attend the Dallas-Fort Worth Clinic & Audition, and look forward to our next two sessions on Sunday, December 1 in Indianapolis for brass and battery at Lawrence Central High School, as well as a one-day session for brass, battery and color guard in Pasadena at Pasadena City College.

Please check the monthly calendar, and for more information and to RSVP for an audition session.



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