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Nathan Nguyen of U.C. Davis' Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh plays the saxophone during a performance at Crescent Elementary School in Suisun City, Friday. About 40 members from the marching band played with 2nd/3rd grad teacher Lilli Ede, a U.C. Davis' Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh alumni. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Daily Republic)


Band helps drive home Suisun City school’s plan

By From page A3 | March 22, 2014

SUISUN CITY — An 8-year-old who wants to become a pediatrician saw one of her inspirations Friday when the university band with the distinctive name came to Crescent Elementary School and performed in front of about 600 children.

Third-grader London Young saw the Cal Aggie Marching Band-uh!, with its maverick outfit of blue jeans, long-sleeve white shirts and customized hats, play, sing and dance. Young, among those who are pen pals with band members, saw the cymbal player she corresponds with and whose letters tell of the university, including its band.

“It’s really made her excited about going to college – going to UC Davis,” her mother Gail Young said.

London Young liked what she heard Friday.

“I really love their playing all that music,” the 8-year-old said.

The marching band appeared as part of the college focus program at Crescent Elementary where children announce daily, “No fooling around, I’m college bound.”

Teachers adopt universities and display banners in their classrooms. Lilli Ede has the University of California, Davis banner in her classroom, along with her diplomas from UC Davis, where as a student she played clarinet in the marching band.

Ede reprieved that role Friday and after playing with the marching band spoke about emphasizing post-high school plans early in education.

“The more that they hear,” she said of youths and college, “the more likely they are to go.”

Children are told they can be what they want to be, the teacher said.

“The sky’s the limit,” Ede said as she sat in her classroom, and “this is where it starts.”

Laura DeKloe, who team teaches with Ede in the Partnership in Educational Progress program in second and third grades, said pen pal status with UC Davis marching band members is a big deal to the children who attend Crescent Elementary School.

“They come in,” DeKloe said, “and show me their letters.”

She said children were chanting the UC Davis fight song throughout the day before the arrival of the marching band, whose performance got four-star reviews from the student body.

“It was exciting and it was loud,” said Abreanna Hall, 8.

The fight song was the favorite of Christian Domondon, 9. Jack Burkhart, 8, liked what live music does.

“You can feel the beat,” he said, “in your heart.”

Mariella Rubalcava, a sophomore at UC Davis and a clarinet player in the band, said it’s great to play in front of a young audience.

“It’s a lot more fun,” she said. “We get such emotional responses.”

Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or [email protected]

Ryan McCarthy


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