High Notes and Low Notes
By Zoe Whitney
December 20, 2014
As the Maui High Band prepares for the Rose Parade, Andrei Dela Cruz reflects on the nature of passion and drive.
“Funniest moments… Um… I can’t remember…” from Andrei Dela Cruz’s strained expression bursts a grin, “There’s a lot, that’s why.” The Maui High Band snare drummer explains the environment in which he spends 3 to 4 days a week immersed in: “Basically, you’re socializing with everyone and making a lot of friends, even through the tough times.” Somewhere in those 2 ½ hour weekday sessions and 7-hour Saturdays, bonding occurs, not only with fellow band members, but also the instrument itself. Because the snare drum requires a traditional grip, it demands quite a bit of practice, numbering 3 days a week for Dela Cruz. “If you’re doing this one activity, and then you see other people try to do the same thing but you don’t see them trying as hard as you or they don’t take it as seriously as you, in a way, you’ll be offended they don’t feel the same way about it.”
“By mid-season, everyone in the band gets sort of lazy,” the percussionist grimaces. Motivation may wear out, but passion is undepletable: Mr. Wasano, the band’s director, teaches this by example, “Sometimes there are people who are passionate about what they do, and sometimes you want to be just like them. You want to have the same passion as them. And it also pushes you to be better than you think you can be.” During those mid-season low notes, the director sometimes has to be blunt, “He gives us a reality check,” mutters Dela Cruz, “He pushes us really hard: he knows we can do better.”
His efforts are now manifesting themselves, as the band prepares for the 126th Annual Rose Parade. This will be the first year a Maui band been accepted into the New Year’s festival of flowers, music, and horses, all proceeding the college football game. On January 1st, 2015 the Sabers perform for the streets of Pasadena, California, and ultimately, the county. “I’m most excited about marching in the parade, being on national television,” Dela Cruz gives a hesitant laugh. Almost compulsively, the Junior thinks of his fellow band members, “I just want them to perform their best and not have any regrets this trip. Everyone should have a lot of fun this trip.” It’s truly a duet of stress and excitement these next 5 days. Tune in this Thursday to see what all the noise is about.