SMHS marching band director Kevin McKeown with band members and their trophies.

Santa Monica High School wins first place in competition

By Kamala Kirk

Santa Monica High School’s marching band recently placed first in a recent competition at the 27th Annual Irvine Invitational Field Tournament, where they competed against 14 other schools in various divisions.
The SMHS marching band, which consists of 117 students from all grade levels, earned an overall score of 80.75 and placed first in three different categories including Band, Color Guard and Percussion.

“The growth from the previous tournament and the increase of energy, especially among the younger and newer members, has to be my favorite thing about this competition,” said Kevin McKeown, marching band director.
Currently SMHS holds the second highest score in Southern California. The marching band also competed in two additional qualifying tournaments before making their way to the Southern California School Band & Orchestra Association Championships on Nov. 20.

The SMHS marching band performs at home football games, as well as many school and community events. They also participate and compete in parades and field shows. The marching band is happy to be back in-person this year following 2002, when competitions and events were shut down due to the pandemic.

“We are going to do well,” McKeown said. “There is great energy and positive attitudes coming from the students and we hope to keep it going in through the final stretch.”