The San Marcos High School Marching Band and Colorguard took home the gold medal and Southern California State Championship on Saturday held at Ramona High School in Riverside.

They competed in Division 2A of the SCSBOA (Southern California Schools Band and Orchestra Association) circuit, against 11 other bands.

In order to qualify for championships, San Marcos had to compete in at least three regular season competitions and have one of the 12 highest combined cumulative scores out of about 40 total bands. San Marcos was seeded fifth going into championships but performed sixth overall based on a random draw for seeds 5 to 8.

San Marcos made history by becoming the first band to win from such an early performance time and low seed going into championships. It was also the smallest band to compete with 51 musicians and 13 colorguard members. The cutoff for Division 1A is 50 musicians and the Royals competing in 2A, were outmatched by up to 25 performers.

“This remarkable accomplishment is a testament to how hard each student works and how dedicated they have been for the last five months,” band director Michael Kiyoi said. “This win is one of the most amazing accomplishments the Marching Band and Colorguard have ever achieved, and I have never been more proud to be working as San Marcos’ band director. This is truly an incredible group of musicians and performers.”

Marching Captionhead instructor Jon Fernandez added: “It was great to end the season on the best performance of the year.”

San Marcos is conducted by Drum Major Niko Victoria. Colorguard captains are Lindsay-Cait Campbell and Nikki Riedinger. The drum captain is Ray Ramos, and the first ensemble captain is Kaeli Distefano.

In addition to Kiyoi and Fernandez, staff members include Lozell Henderson, percussion captionhead; Idonarose Orr, Colorguard captionhead; Jack Trieger, Colorguard; Amanda Adams, Colorguard; Marcus Loman, battery percussion; Allena Rivera, front ensemble percussion; and Dave Tompson, brass.

The San Marcos Marching Band and Colorguard will be performing a free community performance at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11 in Warkentin Stadium on the San Marcos campus. They will also hold a silent auction fundraiser from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Wildcat Lounge, 15 W. Ortega St.

— Aaron Solis is activities director for San Marcos High School.