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Central California Band Review makes return to Merced after hiatus

Traveling the farthest of any of the 34 bands competing, Las Plumas/Oroville High School in Oroville captured most of the major awards Saturday during the Central California Band Review, back home in Merced after a three-year absence.

The Las Plumas/Oroville Alliance Marching Band, about 200 miles from Merced, received sweepstakes awards in auxiliary, marching, showmanship, music and parade competition. Atwater High School's drum major, senior Danielle Battisti, won the other major sweepstakes award for drum major.

Ken Harris, Golden Valley band booster president, said the band review "absolutely" will be back again next year after this year's fantastic turnout. He said CCBR organizers would be evaluating strengths and weaknesses of the band review this week, which returned to Merced after three years in Madera.

"We were blessed by the number of people. It was just a nice day and everybody enjoyed themselves. The head judge said he was very impressed and excited to be here," Harris said.

Lee Pevsner, the Golden Valley treasurer and fundraising chairman, also said the band review turned out great and organizers were overjoyed with how smoothly the event ran.

"I hope the spectators and participants had a good time. We're looking forward to doing it next year," Pevsner said. Bands paraded along Childs Avenue in front of Golden Valley High School.

Golden Valley High School hosted parade and jazz competition Saturday morning and Atwater High School hosted Saturday night's field show featuring a dozen bands. Caroline Davis Middle School of San Jose won the junior high school jazz sweepstakes and San Ramon High School's A squad won the high school jazz sweepstakes.

Lisa Battisti, Atwater High School Falcon band booster president, said Clovis East swept marching, showmanship, music and field show sweepstakes at Saturday night's field show in Atwater. The Golden West Trailblazers of Visalia won the Fred A. Silveira Grand Sweepstakes, given to the school that excelled in parade and field show competition.

Battisti said the home side grandstands at Falcon Field were nearly filled for the field show. Atwater High School's band was the host band and did not compete in the field show competition.

The band review began in Merced in 1960 and was held the first Saturday of November in downtown Merced, except one year when the parade competition was held on Yosemite Avenue in front of Merced College. The event moved to Madera for 2004-2006 events but the sanctioning band organization asked for the event to return to Merced this year.

In high school band Class AA parade competition, Atwater won, followed by Cesar Chavez High School of Stockton, Livermore and Golden West of Visalia. In Band Class A, Turlock's Pitman High School captured top honors, followed by Washington Union, Franklin and Tokay high schools.

In Band Class B, San Ramon emerged on top, followed by Turlock, Galt, Buhach Colony, Gustine and Livingston high schools. In Band Class C, the winner was Santa Cruz, followed by San Benito, Chowchilla, Merced, Orestimba and Dos Palos high schools.

In middle school competition, Merced's Tenaya Middle School received auxiliary, showmanship, music and parade sweepstakes. Los Banos and Cruickshank middle schools shared the drum major sweepstakes and Winton Middle School won the marching sweepstakes.

In Class D, Winton and Weaver middle schools finished first and second respectively. In Class E, Los Banos took top honors, followed by Cruickshank, Wilson and Yolo middle schools. In Class F, Merced's Hoover Middle School took first, followed by El Portal Middle School of Escalon, Livingston and Bryant Middle School of Dos Palos.

Associate Editor Doane Yawger can be reached at 209-385-2485 or dyawger@mercedsun-star.com.

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