BARSTOW Out on the field, it was hot and slightly humid.

Inside the Barstow High School band room, it was raucous and crowded.

But every time the instruments were lifted up, the high-schoolers switched on the focus.

And the result? The sweet strains of another year's field show in the making.
Students in Barstow High School's marching band have started gearing up for this year's field show, and band camp is in full swing this week.

The high school's annual field show, which draws competition from all around the High Desert, will highlight its 25th year in October with songs from The Beatles that everyone will be able to recognize, including classics like "All You Need Is Love" and "Penny Lane," said band director Tim Garvin.

More than 150 students marched in lock-step during band camp and repeated drills throughout the week on the high school's baseball field, sharpening each movement as the band ramped up preparations for its big event.

The 2009 field show titled the "Magical Mystery Tour" after The Beatles album released in November of 1967 will also be a special tribute to Aztec band alumni, according to Garvin. It will include all band students from the fall semester of 1984 to the spring semester of 2009.

To celebrate a quarter-century of teaching thousands of Barstow band students, Garvin estimates around 8,000 students, the Aztecs are inviting all band alumni back to this year's show to gather in the stands together, all wearing the same band T-shirts.

While clarinet player Faith Bryan may have just started band camp this year as a freshman, she's already been part of a rich history of Aztec band tradition.

Bryan's mom, Sharon, played both the snare drum and clarinet also under the tutelage of Garvin many years ago.

In fact, Faith now plays her mother's old instrument.

"I decided to play it because my mom had it," the 14-year-old said.

Garvin said he realizes that many Aztec band alumni have since moved away, but said he hopes to bring former students back to experience, once again, a celebrated tradition at the high school.

"They were a part of this whole thing," said Garvin.

Band camp runs until Aug. 27. The 2009 field show is Oct. 10 at Barstow High School. For more information, check the high school's band Web site at

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4122 or