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New YWA drumline club wins Marching Band Award at Sun Bowl Parade

(YOUNG WOMEN’S ACADEMY – Nov. 28, 2022) – The mostly middle-school-aged Young Women’s Academy drumline and flag girls outperformed area high school bands to claim the 2022 Sun Bowl Parade’s Marching Band Award on Thanksgiving Day.

“We’re all celebrating. It feels unreal,” said seventh grader Natalie Cardenas who plays snare. “This is big for us.”

Cardenas recalls feeling a little intimidated as much bigger bands with new uniforms and long-standing traditions marched by.

“We felt really small in comparison, but we won the award,” she said. “Look what we can do in a two-year span. It was so much fun.”

Before the parade, the 26-member drumline warmed up with a drum-off against a couple of larger Class 6A high school drumlines from other school districts, earning respect and accolades. All but three of the YWA drumline members are in middle school.

“The girls hung with them. We even made their entire band dance,” said assistant principal Mark Teran, the drumline director. “It was such an amazing feeling. They are extremely talented.”

Cardenas also enjoyed the drum-offs leading up to the parade.

“A few times, we felt a little insignificant, but we shocked them with all of our cadences,” she said. “We have some really solid cadences.”

Teran started the club last year to drum up school spirit. Initially, they learned on buckets and desks during lunch and after school. As the drumline grew to 34 girls, they received hand-me-down drumsets and uniforms and began playing in more events. This year, they made a name for themselves by supporting the Cathedral High School football team. The games were a chance for the all-girl drumline to get a taste of Friday Night Lights. Since then, they’ve been invited to perform at the Celebration of Lights and other community events. Brand-new equipment and uniforms also are on the way.

“Once we get the new equipment, the sky’s the limit,” Teran said. “The girls can compete anywhere. I am so proud of them. They are so talented, respectful and have huge hearts.”