The students gathered in a big circle on the stretch of grass near the baseball fields at Santa Clara High School. Keeping their feet parallel to each other, they marched in place though an eight-count beat. It was just one of the morning activities at the school’s April 30 marching band camp. About 60 members of the marching band showed a dozen incoming freshmen the ins and outs of this extracurricular activity.
“We’re trying to grow the marching band and we’re trying to get incoming freshmen from the middle schools interested in joining our band,” says Johnny Erdman, music director for Santa Clara High School. “Aside from making lifelong friends, students in marching band are also building life skills in time management, work ethic, as well as team work and they are learning how to work with others. Having experience helps. But my philosophy is that if you want to be in a music ensemble, we’ll get you in.”
While the kids practiced their march, Jordan Tao, color guard director for Santa Clara High School, was practicing a routine with a giant flag. She explains that color guarding nurtures athletic and artistic abilities because the guards have to dance and know how to toss and spin flags, sabers and rifles.
“I see a lot more commitment from the kids in the band as a whole as they get older,” says Tao, who has seen many students start in the marching band as freshmen...
49ers Take Stadium Rent Dispute to Arbitration
By Carolyn Schuk
Santa Clara's dispute with San Francisco 49ers over Levi's Stadium facility rent just got tenser. Yesterday the 49ers issued a public letter announcing they have filed for arbitration to enforce the stadium lease contract approved by Santa Clara City Council in 2013.
The dispute, going on since November, concerns the amount of the stadium facility rent – one of three elements of the total rent. It was set initially at $24.5 million for the stadium's first full year of operation, based on a cost model created by Santa Clara's consultant, Keyser Marsden.
The 40-year lease includes a one-time facility rent reset after the first year. If debt, interest or operating expenses change the facility rent is to increase or decrease likewise – retroactively as well as going forward. The initial 2012 lease agreement said explicitly, "Facility Rent is projected to be reduced over time..."
Civil Rights Activist Cornel West Speaks at Mission College
By Cynthia Cheng
It was standing room only at Mission College where civil rights activist Dr. Cornel West was going to speak on April 29, shortly before the noted scholar and activist’s scheduled appearance. Late attendees drifted into the overflow room elsewhere on the campus’s Gillmor Center. When West emerged in his trademark black suit and tie, fans eagerly greeted him...