The Lord Mayor Visits West Boca High

Lord Mayor Duncan Sandys addresses West Boca High. Band members in background.
Lord Mayor Duncan Sandys addresses West Boca High. Band members in background.

West Boca High had some prominent visitors this morning. The headliner was Duncan Sandys, the past Lord Mayor of Westminster, and great grandson of Winston Churchill. Sandys spoke to the members of the Vanguard (the school band) as well as some band parents and others in attendance.
Here’s a video of Sandys entering to music performed by the Vanguard:

As a patron of the London New Years Day Parade, Sandys delivered the formal invitation for the Vanguard to perform in the upcoming parade.
Here’s part of his speech:

And here’s our best shot of the Lord Mayor at the podium as he was speaking:

London’s New Year’s Day Parade has evolved into one of the world’s great street spectaculars with up to 10,000 performers from across continents, hundreds of thousands of spectators, and a ‘live’ TV audience of several hundred million.

During the portion of the event held in the theater, Sandys presented gifts to various people including the drum majors and band director Larry Shane.
There were some “big wigs” in attendance including city council member Robert S. Weinroth (far right in the picture below):
Oddly none of the elected officials who represent the West Boca High school district attended. We did not see County Commissioner Mary Lou Berger, our state House or Senate representative, nor congressman Deutch who lives across the street in Boca Falls. The only exception was school board member Frank Barbieri.
The event then moved into the school cafeteria where students mobbed Sandys.
The school’s Culinary academy provided key lime tarts and scones for the event. The scones were pretty good and the tarts were outstanding.
Some students were also interviewed by local media:
The Vanguard now has to work on raising money to fund the trip. It’s expected to cost a little more than $3000 per student and they’re hoping to raise $300,000, with an active group of band moms working to make it happen.

Winter Concert at West Boca High

On December 9th, the West Boca Raton High School Vanguard performed another outstanding concert, proving that their Superior rating isn’t just for show. For the whole performance, around an hour and a half, most of the seats in the auditorium were filled with students, families, parents, and staff. The concert was full of festive, seasonal music and powerful, contemporary songs, helping kick off this holiday season.
The performing groups were West Boca’s Percussion Ensemble, directed by James Davis, (playing Troika and Carol of the Bells), West Boca’s Symphonic Band, directed by Larry Shane, (playing Air from County Derry, Hanukkah Highlights, Chand a Jubilo, and Deck the Halls with Old Composers), and West Boca’s Wind Ensemble, also directed by Larry Shane, (playing Carmina Burana, A Chanukah Celebration, Chester Overture, and A Christmas Festival).
One of the most remarkable songs was the Wind Ensemble’s finale, A Christmas Festival. This recognizable song was composed by Leroy Anderson and can be seen in countless Christmas themed movies and performances. This song serves as a symbol for the coming of the holiday season, and, as director Larry Shane said, “You know it’s good because it’s played in Publix.”

West Boca Bulls Lose to Atlantic: Video and Analysis

The West Boca High School football team, the Bulls, had a disappointing loss Friday night to the Atlantic High Eagles. It had been a strong season for the Bulls up to this point, but the Eagles came in and held the Bulls scoreless while putting up 13 points of their own.
The game started with a good performance from the Vanguard marching band and the team looked good at the beginning.

The game started on a sour note for the Bulls as they lost a fumble on the first play from scrimmage. Perhaps that was foreshadowing. Despite that they held the Eagles to a 3 and out on their first drive and then the Bulls moved the ball well at first.
Here’s an example, a pass play where they got about 7 yards.

That drive stalled at the Atlantic 40 yard line. For the rest of the first quarter both offenses struggled and the score was tied at 0-0.
In the second quarter Atlantic made some big plays and scored a field goal and then a touchdown. West Boca’s offense struggled for the rest of the game. We kept hearing Jerrod Ferguson’s name and he made a big interception in toward the end of the 2nd quarter, but the Bulls offense was unable to convert that into points.
On 4th and 9 their field goal attempt fell short. This reporter thought they had a better shot of getting a first down and should’ve gone for it, but it’s easy to say that from the stands.
In the second half neither offense did much though the Eagles did score on a late field goal to push the final score to 13-0.
For the Bulls it seemed like Bulls QB Matt Gross and his receivers were out of sync. On one play he threw what looked like a good pass but the receiver had given up on the play. On others Gross overthrew open men.
Despite the frustrations of a tough game, the players maintained their composure throughout the game. We’re hopeful they’ll learn from this and play better in their next game.
On the bright side, the band seemed to have fun. They were joined by students from the Loggers’ Run Middle School band for performance in the stands.


West Boca High Concert: Thursday

The Spring Concert for West Boca High School’s award winning Vanguard Band will take place Thursday May 15th, 7 PM in the school theater (Glades Road west of South County Regional Park).
All are invited to hear the only high school band program in Palm Beach County to send two bands to the Florida Bandmasters Association State Band Assessment this year!
westbocahighFor this year’s Spring Concert, the bands of West Boca will be joined on stage by students from the Loggers’ Run Middle School Band program for a special performance of a medley of songs from the Disney film Frozen.
Admission is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children at the door. Come out and support our local band students!