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Article Contributor: Dinah Palaima

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who shared their feedback on my blog posted on October 21. I personally hope I’ve painted a picture of why parent volunteer support is needed. If you want to see volunteers in action this Saturday at Foothill High School in Pleasanton please reach out. I guarantee seeing your student in action and their passion will inspire you.

(This blog is a continuation of my volunteer support during the Field Show at Del Oro held in Loomis, CA.)

Disclosure: I took a break between lunch and after dinner. There are many volunteer shifts to sign up for at a competition. Each shift being a few hours long. There’s nothing that says you have to sign up for all the shifts or even more than just one. However, many volunteers can’t help but stay for more than one shift or even the whole day. The rewards of volunteering are that addicting.

As I returned from my break, the band had just finished dinner. I heard dinner was delicious and filling. I completely regret not returning sooner for dinner for a chance to eat with my son (insert verrrrry long sad face emoji here). I can’t share what volunteer efforts are like during dinner, but the clean-up crew is a team effort. It’s all directing at this point and most band members respectfully help with staging items closer to the trailers/trucks, pop up tents came down, and a staged area of snacks to partake in after the Field Show was set up. Basically, the area was cleaned up as if no one was EVER there. The REU students are very respectful, and I felt this was the their way of giving back to those who cooked the meal.

We cook for the REU from SCRATCH!

As the sun started to go down, Drumline and Pit split off to practice for the Field Show in different areas of the campus. What is a Field Show? A marching band field show is fascinating and exciting to watch, combining many moves that place the marching band in different formations, while the band continues to perform music. You might watch a marching band field show during half time of various games, most often football. If you have attended Thursday night practices at Rodriguez, then you’ve seen an informal glimpse of the show. The actual Saturday Field Show is game on! Shoes shined and plumes ready to go! The Field Show will have many other schools performing as well.

Practice happens where ever we can find a spot

The rest of the band perform warm up exercises including marching to beats and stretching until call time to move to the stadium. The band is in full uniform at this point. One last practice as one unit before call time….but…. it was communicated that it was difficult for Pit to get to the stadium without volunteers help push instruments up a hill and gravel area. “I’m sorry, come again? What? NOT ENOUGH VOLUNTEERS?! (Hint: THE BAND NEEDS VOLUNTEERS!) I was asked to help and given a reflective vest that read “REU PIT CREW”. To note: the Pit Crew is a sign up on SUG and to be a part of it you must sign up – especially if you are new. Slowly the band instructors and others helped push instruments to the field. I was determined to help push the instrument with the triangle and chimes (someone please tell me what that’s called!) up the hill and down to the field. Once on the field, I felt like a star for a hot second with all the bright lights but came to reality settling for being able to sit front row and watch the performance.

Pit Crew is serious business - part of the scoring is on how efficiently the band gets on and off the field

The REU showcased an awesome performance and won 1st Place overall for in their division 5A. Such a memorable night! Parents – be proud and loud! The REU is passionate about what they do. I witnessed their DEDICATION, SPIRIT, RESPECT, SPORTSMANSHIP, and they have FUN!

Accepting awards is worth the wait

Editor's Note: A reminder that Dinah is writing from a Freshman parent's point of view. There are many aspects of volunteering she has yet to experience. What a joy! We can’t wait for her to have more fun! For even more detailed insight on what a competition day is like please read a previous blog of ours linked here:

Tomorrow, watch for the last blog in this set …

Dinah Palaima is a mother of three. Her youngest is a freshman in the REU. She works full time as an HR Director in the wine industry, spends lots of time with her cuddly beagles (Love & Koa), and loves anything Ube. She definitely has a passion for supporting the REU and we hope she will be an inspirational resource to other parents coming into the program.

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