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Published on December 15th, 2017 | by Emma Preston

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Marching Band on KCRW

On Dec. 2, the Samo Marching Band gave a performance on KCRW at the grand opening of the Santa Monica College (SMC) Media and Design Center, a brand new addition to the SMC campus that will be serving as the new headquarters for KCRW.

The new addition to the SMC campus, on Pennsylvania Avenue and Stewart Street, will house the SMC media and design programs such as graphic design and film studies as well as many others.

The new addition to the campus was officially opened at 9:45 a.m. which started off the grand opening celebration. Multiple speakers spoke at the event, which was followed by a performance by our Samo Marching Band.

“Somebody from SMC contacted us, asking for the marching band to participate. It was a gala event, and they wanted something really flashy but also something that connected with our community. Nothing connects more to our community than our Samo Marching Band,” Band Director Kevin McKeown said.

The grand opening was a crowded event with many excited people waiting to explore the new addition to the campus. The attendees consisted of the many donors for making the new campus possible as well as members of the city council. Among many notable attendees of the event was Senator Ben Allen, who is an alumnus of the Samo band program.

“There was a lot going on, and from our perspective we just saw a ton of people and we didn’t really know what the event was to be honest. It was really fun and the support we got was amazing,” Samo Marching Band member Hugo Maida (’20) said.

The marching band practiced their skills every day during their season and attended a 2 week band camp in order to prepare for tournaments and give eye-catching performances at events of all different kinds. The marching band currently practices an average of 9 hours a week. Due to many hours of practice, the Marching Band is always prepared to give performances. Performing at events like the grand opening is just a normal occurrence for the Samo Marching Band.

“There was not much preparation because it was something we’ve done a few times now, whether it’s playing for the Special Olympics or the ribbon cutting ceremony at the third street promenade. We’re really used to knowing what to do when we go and kick off these events,” McKeown said.

McKeown is always looking forward for opportunities for the marching band to perform, especially when the students take their own time to participate in these events. The musicians are dedicated to the program which allows for the Samo Marching Band to participate in many opportunities to play.

“I love seeing our kids do something that does not require a lot of time, and this was something that was on their own time. The fact that so many of our kids participated in it to represent Samo made me very proud,” McKeown said.

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