The Venice High School marching band captured second place earlier this month at the Sounds Across the Valley Band Competition for the first time in 17 years.

The Venice High Marching Gondoliers finished second for the first time since 1992 at the 2009 Sounds Across the Valley Band Competition in Baldwin Hills November 7th.

Under the new direction of Reesa Jones, the Marching Gondoliers have shown promising improvement, school officials said. They had been preparing their halftime performance since the summer.

“I’m really proud of all the hard work the Marching Gondoliers have put in,” said Jones.

Flute player Susana Uruita noted, “The band puts in a lot of hard work; we practice non-stop and we do extra gigs.

“We’ve lost people in band and in color-guard. We’ve even had to re-write drill a few times.”

While the Marching Gondoliers have limited money and require fundraising, they have received help and support from parents of band members.

Drum major Patrick Robles said, “I don’t see what we don’t have, I see what we do. And at that moment [in the competition] I was so into it and I seriously thought ‘I would never trade my band for any other.’”

In addition to competitions and extra performances, the band plays at Venice High football games.