Lakers take first place for the eighth time in a decade

by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - LOHS band members who marched their way to another win at the Starlight Parade on Saturday, included (from left): Julia Moreland, Jessica Lee, Julia Porter, Soojin Park and Alena Madin.They’ve done it again.

The Lake Oswego High School marching band — about 185 musicians, dancers and cheerleaders — continued its decade-long domination of the Starlight Parade’s Open Class division this year, bringing home another first-place trophy.

The band has marched away with the top place eight times in the past 10 years, including the past four years in a row. Dave Matthys, who is retiring this year after serving as band director for 11 years, said that the success derives from students’ attitudes and REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Dancers including Callie Shaw, front and center, were among those who marched with musicians in the parade.

“The kids have a lot of pride in what they do, and that pride shows off in how they march. It’s great PR, not only for our high school but for the whole community,” Matthys said.

The band high-stepped along a 2.5-mile route in downtown Portland, drums rumbling between performances of John Philip Sousa’s “Fairest of the Fair.”by: REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Trumpet player William Womack steps to the beat.

Violists and violinists are rare to the modern marching band, but not for the Lakers. When rain threatened the parade last year, parents carried cases for the delicate instruments and followed the band on its route, just in case a storm broke. But all went well weather-wise this year: Skies were clear, and the temperature stayed warm.

LED lights brightened marchers, gleaming on drum sticks, trombone slides and players’ hands, and glow lights also brightened the group. There were about 15 more students this year than last REVIEW PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Drummer Ryan Washburne keeps the beat.

This also was the second year in a row that LOHS earned second place during the Oregon School Activities Association band championships. LOHS orchestra was sixth among its state competitors.

“Success breeds success, so we’ve been very successful in all areas of music, and that gets more people who want to participate and be a part of the band program and to be a part of our band family, and I think that’s a part of it, too,” Matthys said. “We are really a community within our band program.”by: SUBMITTED PHOTO: DAVE MATTHYS - Ethan Agritelly makes his trombone sing at the Starlight Parade.

Lakeridge High participates in the parade every other year. This was an off year, but last year Lakeridge High earned second place in the In-State A category, representing groups with 99 or fewer members. LOHS is in the In-State Open category, which is for groups with 100 or more members.

By Jillian Daley
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