Riordan Band sets tempo for successful year


Joseph Zuloaga '23

Diane Lai ’24, Jameson Datoc ’23, Tommy Galvin ’24, and Chris Enriquez ’23 display the Band’s three trophies from the Fairfield Tournament of Champions.

Naomi Lin '24, Opinion Editor

This year, the Riordan band demonstrated their ability to not only successfully modify their schedule to accommodate many changes, but to perform and accumulate prestigious awards along the way. 

The 4×4 schedule prevents the band from meeting all year long. 

“Almost all performing arts courses, especially performing ensembles, rely on courses being year-round,” stated Band Director Kyle Hildebrant. 

According to Drum Major Jameson Datoc ’23, the 4×4 schedule has forced many band members into making difficult decisions. 

“Now because our schedule switched to the 4×4 it’s more difficult for many of the band members to continue doing band because it intertwines with another class. This forced many band members to make the choice to either set down their instrument or switch up their whole entire schedule.” 

Fellow Drum Major Tommy Galvin ’24 added another challenge created by the 4×4 schedule: deciding when the band should meet. 

From arduous rehearsals to winning awards at our most recent competitions, our band has stuck to it through highs and lows

— Vee Chen ’25, flutist

“To solve this problem, we meet during zero period in the second semester, but that gets tricky with conflicts like student parliament,” stated Galvin. 

Nevertheless, members continue to exhibit their dedication to the band by working tirelessly and showing up to practice sessions that occur outside school hours. 

“Everyone has worked really hard on memorizing their music and marching. From arduous rehearsals to winning awards at our most recent competitions, our band has stuck to it through highs and lows,” said flutist Vee Chen ’25. 

In competitions, band members arrive at Riordan before dawn and board the bus to head to the different high schools that host the competitions.

When the competition begins, students lock into places, marching into formation and playing for three consecutive minutes. Afterwards, they unwind and attend the awards ceremony. 

“The most memorable part of the competitions for me at least is not the award ceremony, but performing our best for people and in front of the judges and the journey getting there. It’s the thought knowing that all our hard work leads up to a successful band competition year and finishing off on a high note,” said Datoc.

This year, instead of just marching in a straight line like previous years, the band has integrated new marching formations, such as windows and chevrons. In addition, they have been playing more advanced pieces and are diving deeper into music theory, transposition, and playing technique. The band overall won 10 trophies this marching season, ranging from parade band, color guard, and concert band.

In the band we believe in constant, never-ending, improvement…

— Kyle Hildebrant, Band Director

In terms of adjustments the band directors hope to implement in the future, Hildebrant and fellow Band Director, Lance Ohnmeiss, are looking forward to introducing new music theory techniques and performance opportunities. In addition, they are looking to rotate in new instruments to replace old ones, some of which are over 30 years old. 

Hildbrant added, “In the band we believe in constant, never-ending, improvement. The end goal of each year is to achieve the best at each individual’s level, which in turn helps the entire group get better as a whole.”