ALAMEDA -- It's time to listen to the music Saturday when 13 bands converge to perform at the top of their game at Encinal High School's 19th annual Extravaganza of Bands review.
The public is invited to support Encinal High School and to come hear visiting middle and high school concert and marching bands from the Bay Area make their marks on the music world and walk away with a trophy at the end of the day.
It's one of the school's biggest events, bringing more than 1,000 visiting musicians. It also is a day anticipated by West Alameda residents and supporters, complete with a festive spark in the air as people line the streets.
"It's fully a community event. All along the route, people are in their front yards and bring the little kids up on the curb," said Lori Keep, a parent with the Encinal High School Marching Band Boosters. "It's really fun to watch the marching bands go by, all in their uniforms, playing music and competing."
There are two separate competitions that take place, both free and open to the public. A concert band competition begins at 8 a.m. in the high school gym and normally lasts until 2 p.m.
Out on Pacific Avenue, the marching bands compete from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., one at a time, playing one competition march before the judges' stand at Third Street and Pacific Avenue. They have two minutes and 30 seconds to do their best as they're judged on their music, marching, drum major and flag team. Some members of the marching bands compete again as choreographed drum line formations.
The 45-member Encinal High School Marching Jets are the first band out at 10 a.m. since as hosts, they do not compete. Once their performance is complete, they assume their duties at various areas.
"We all go out to do our jobs and make the day great for everyone else," said Armen Phelps, Encinal High School's music director. "The students are running the show."
Judges are professionals from the Northern California Band Association who grade each performance. By the end of the day they have first-, second- and third-place winners in both band categories as well as drum major, percussion line and color guard to announce at the awards presentation at 3 p.m. on the football field.
The Extravaganza serves as a fundraiser for the music department since schools pay an entrance fee to compete. Parent and student-run concessions also raise money by selling everything from hot dogs and candy bars to water, sodas and T-shirts.
"We use the proceeds to survive above the money we receive from the district, to keep taking care of uniforms, replace and repair instruments, pay entrance fees for competitions and pay the $1,000 for the rental of a bus," Keep said.
The day offers a unique opportunity to watch youth perform as a team and demonstrate their pride.
"It's a chance to see the great American youth, more than 1,000, on a Saturday making wonderful and artistic music," Phelps said. "The level they perform at is amazing."
As a parent booster, Keep feels tremendous pride in what the day represents and that Encinal High School is able to have a marching band.
"The marching band is something that we treasure," she said. "Our school is really proud to have a marching band, and it's an honor for Encinal High School to host this and to have community support."
This pride extends all the way to Alameda City Hall.
"Alameda is proud of the Encinal Marching Jets and Encinal High School Concert Band for the value they bring to our community," Mayor Marie Gilmore said. "Over the years, they have been a regular attraction in the Fourth of July Parade, performed many concerts throughout our community, and, representing Alameda, the Marching Jets won first place at this year's Napa Band Review."
What: Encinal High School Extravaganza of Bands
Where: 210 Central Ave.
Details: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., concert competition, EHS gym; 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., parade competition, on Pacific Avenue between Third and Fourth streets; 3 p.m., awards presentation, EHS football field.
From 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., the streets around Encinal High School will be closed. Parking will be restricted on and near campus all day.
Closed streets include: Central from Third to Pacific; Pacific from Central to Fourth; Fourth from Pacific to Haight; 300 block of Haight; Third from Haight to Central.
Information: 510-748-4023, ehs.alamedausd.ca.schoolloop.com.