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The following article was written by Written by Diana Bouchaaya, Communications Specialist for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District.

The Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District (SMMUSD) proudly congratulates the Santa Monica High School (Samohi) Viking Marching Band for an exceptional performance during the 2023 competition season.

Under the leadership of band director, Kevin McKeown, the Viking Marching Band participated in five qualifying competitions, between Oct. 21 and Nov. 18, 2023, achieving outstanding results in each event.

“This was the most consistent group that I have taught at Samohi since 2012. Their weekly improvement led to a historic finish and has set a new standard for our program moving forward,” said McKeown. “I am also a proud parent of a senior in the band, Connor, so that makes this year even more special.”

The competition highlights and accolades include:

The Simi Valley 54th Annual Band Spectacular on Oct. 21, 2023: In the 5A Division, the Viking Marching Band placed first in the categories of band, color guard and percussion.

The Cleveland High School All-Valley Band Tournament on Oct. 28, 2023: In the 5A Division, the band placed first in the categories of band, color guard and percussion.

The William S. Hart Regiment 39th Rampage Tournament on Nov. 4, 2023: In the 5A Division, the Viking Marching Band placed first in the categories of band, color guard and percussion.

The 10th Annual Duarte Field Tournament on Nov. 10, 2023: In the 5A Division, the band placed first in the categories of band, color guard and percussion, as well as won the Music Effect Sweepstakes, Visual Effect Sweepstakes, Visual Performance Sweepstakes and Overall Band Tournament Sweepstakes

The Savanna High School Field Tournament on Nov. 11, 2023: In the 5A Division, the band placed first in the category of band and second in the categories of color guard and percussion. The band also won the Music Performance Sweepstakes, Music Effect Sweepstakes, Visual Effect Sweepstakes and Overall 4A/5A/6A Division Tournament Sweepstakes.

The Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA) 5A Division
Championship Tournament on Nov. 18, 2023: The Viking Marching Band received the silver
medal, won the Music Effect Caption Sweepstakes and broke a new school record with a final
score of 91.10.

Ensembles are categorized into classes according to the number of performers, with 5A
indicating a group of 126 or more members.

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