Live Oak Emerald Regime is pictured performing their “Flora” program at the Gilroy Garlic City Classic. Contributed photo

The Live Oak Emerald Regime marching band in recent weeks has continued its winning tradition—with substantial help from fundraisers and private donations. 

The marching band swept first place in all categories at the Hollister Scarlet Regiment Tournament of Bands on Oct. 28. Specifically, the Live Oak musicians brought home First Overall Band, Best Color Guard, Best Percussion and Best Visual Performance, according to Emerald Regime’s parent and booster organization. 

The Emerald Regime has also performed “with excellent results” at other recent competitions including the Cupertino Tournament of Bands and the Gilroy Garlic Classic, says a press release from Live Oak Boosters. 

The marching band is now preparing to travel to the Western Band Association Regional Championships at the James Logan Invitational Band tournament on Nov. 11; and on Nov. 18 will proceed to Class Championships at Hughes Stadium in Sacramento. 

All this success happens as Emerald Regime has welcomed a new band director, Daniel Alcala, at the beginning of the school year, says a press release from Live Oak Boosters. Alcala has worked alongside Manuel Mendoza and Live Oak Color Guard’s Director, Wes Adams, on the Emerald Regime’s production of the “Flora” program—which they selected as their performance in the recent and upcoming competitions. 

Mendoza, who joined Live Oak as the Emerald Regime’s director in 2022, now focuses primarily in the Britton Middle School band, which he helped start last year. 

“When offered the position of Band Director at Live Oak, I was excited to say the least about my first venture out into the professional teaching world,” Alcala said. “I see so much potential in the students and the program here, and I can’t wait to grow this program.”

Alcala continued, “Throughout my musical endeavors, I’ve developed a passion for embracing the joy in making music. This jubilance in music that I want everyone to be able to experience is what I believe led me here to Live Oak. I know that the LOER has a long and storied history, and the leadership team and I are excited about this year’s production, ‘Flora.’”

Alcala’s experience includes work with marching bands in northern and southern California as both music and visual staff, private instruction and more.

Like its crosstown counterpart, the Emerald Regime and other Live Oak band and music programs rely significantly on fundraisers, donations and parents’ contributions, according to Yaya Dunne, spokesperson for the Live Oak High School Band and Color Guard Boosters Club. While an ongoing weekend bingo game brings in a heavy chunk of funds for music programs at Live Oak as well as Sobrato and Martin Murphy and Britton middle schools, much of the needed assistance is in the form of labor.

“Every competition weekend, parents are out cooking for kids, making sure they have everything they need, (making sure) the trucks are running, all the props are loaded and ready to go,” Dunne said. “They’re out there on weekends making props. It’s just a herculean effort by the parents.”

To donate funds directly to Live Oak Band and Emerald Regime, donate to [email protected] on PayPal. The name of the listed organization is “Live Oak High School Band and Color Guard Boosters Club.” 

Live Oak Emerald Regime’s Michael Dunne plays trumpet at the Oct. 14 Cupertino Tournament of Bands. Contributed photo.
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Michael Moore is an award-winning journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor for the Morgan Hill Times, Hollister Free Lance and Gilroy Dispatch since 2008. During that time, he has covered crime, breaking news, local government, education, entertainment and more.


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