Meadow Iniguez had an incredible season with her school band. She was an undefeated drum major, picked up several awards and got to compete in the high school division.
The catch? She is only in middle school.
The incoming eighth-grader at Benicia Middle School has been performing music since she was a member of Joe Henderson Elementary School’s band. Meadow enjoys being able to take several different pieces of music and turn them into a cohesive work of art.
“You can tell a story through music,” she said. “It’s a type of expression.”
For the last two years, Meadow has been a member of the BMS Viking Band under the direction of Glenn Walp. Along the way, she has won awards in conducting, parade band, drum major and an Outstanding Performer Award.
A big achievement for Meadow was when she got to compete in Rodriguez High School’s Winter Band Review.
“Last year when I started doing winter competitions, there was only one other boy competing against me,” she said. “This year, there was only one other person in the middle school division, so my mom went to the board to see if I could compete with high school so I could have more competition and more opportunity to challenge myself.”
The plan worked. During the L-pattern competition, Meadow ended up placing first in the high school military novice category, beating out students from Granite Bay High School. By midseason, she had moved up to the high school division.
“When I first started doing the L-pattern this year, I did middle school conducting, middle school L-pattern and high school L-pattern in the novice division in high school,” she said. “My scores were placing where I would have placed well in the next division up, so I moved up a division midseason in the high school, so I was in scholastic for high school.”
Since there was not a division for middle school conducting, she moved straight up to high school conducting.
Another favorite experience of Meadow’s was joining the rest of her band when they marched down Main Street in Disneyland.
“That was a pretty amazing experience,” she said. “To walk down the parade and see the castle in front of you and see parents cheering is a great feeling.”
Meadow attributes a lot of her success to her coaches and putting in hard work.
“It’s been a long process,” she said. “I’ve been through three different coaches for many various reasons, but it’s a lot of work. People don’t expect it to be as much work as it is, but you put in a lot of time and effort to do it correctly. It’s a lot of at-home practicing and lessons that you have to put in.”
Meadow will be going to her third varsity drum camp this summer. With Walp’s recent retirement, she hopes she can use her experience to help new BMS Band Director Matthew Ferriera and the rest of the band adjust. Most of all, she wants to improve on her record.
“For winter competitions, I’m hoping I can improve my scores,” she said. “I’m hoping to expand, work harder and score higher.”