There's more to Pittsburg High School's Marching Band than just being a viral sensation.
🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 https://t.co/sjk3mYQCJq— E40 The Counselor (@E40) October 3, 2019
The program recently took home top honors at the San Francisco Fleet Week band competition. It then opened up for Busta Rhymes, who many consider a hip-hop legend, during his recent Bay Area performance. But it is what students are gaining through these experiences that's making a difference: confidence, pride and an extended family.
"Our band program is unique," said Jennifer Martinez, band director. "Wherever we go, they remember us."
And remember Pittsburg High is an understatement, especially after the band's rendition of The Luniz's "I Got 5 On It" hit social media. The song is a Bay Area rap classic that's recently regained national attention after director Jordan Peele chose it as the theme song to his movie "Us."
But it's the fact these students are representing their hometown in the Bay Area, which has the band glowing with pride.
"We couldn't believe it," Martinez said of the band going viral and getting reposted on social media by celebrities like Peele and Bay Area rap legend E-40. "It was exciting, but it's really more of the fact that our students are performing a piece of music that is part of our Bay Area culture."
During a Fleet Week band competition in San Francisco, the band also stayed true to form en route to gaining first place.
“We were ourselves and we showed what our city is about,” student and drum major Diego del Rio said. "To see recognition for that and to get first place in that competition, that just means a lot to me personally.”
For many of the students, the marching band is a home away from home.
"Marching band, to me, it's like a big family," del Rio said. "We're all working and striving for the same thing. And I think that's beautiful."