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    The Sound Machine of the Inland Empire was a self-supporting non-profit youth marching band, Explorer Post 629 (of the Old Baldy Council of the Boy Scouts of America).  Membership was open to young people ages 13 through 21, that have a desire to learn and improve their music and pageantry skills.  We offered instruction in brass, woodwinds, percussion, color guard, movement, and marching techniques.  The band functioned from the beginning of October through the first week of August, but membership could be earned at any time of the year.

    We served the local four county area of western San Bernardino, eastern Los Angeles, northwestern Riverside, and northern Orange counties, but we had members from San Diego to Santa Clara.  Founded in March of 1984, The Sound Machine had developed into the premier youth band of California, competing in parades, field shows, and performing in exhibitions, from San Diego to British Columbia, Canada.

    The organization's main function was to develop the talent of its members, by providing a positive atmosphere, the best possible instruction and quality performance opportunities.

Old Baldy Council Patch  -  BSA

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History of The Sound Machine

    Late on a Saturday night in October 1983, after enjoying a local Southern California high school field show competition, Dave Schaafsma and Ron Barbee sat in a Denny's Restaurant and started formulating the plans for a new and different youth band.  Their dreams and ideas had been floating around for two years already, but now, it was time.  Before the night was over, the location, the Upland-Ontario-Chino area, was finalized.  The name came from the desire to place music above all else, and the fact that both Dave and Ron played in Long Beach State's "Big Brown Music Machine" Marching Band in the mid 1970's.  The uniform was to be variation on the 1980 "Sky Riders" Drum and Bugle Corps cowboy gambler look, because it would be easy and inexpensive to make for a first year band.  For the next four months, they used their more than twelve years of experience in the youth band realm, to set their plans into motion.

    On Thursday night, February 22, 1984, an Open House was held in the Upland Public Library to introduce The Sound Machine to the Inland Empire area.  Guest speakers included Harvey Berish of The World of Pageantry, Dennis Wortham of the Southern California Judges Association and Director of the Royal Knights Youth Band, and Bob Ward represented the Pacific Coast Youth Band Association(now called Summer Bands International) and the Santa Ana Winds Youth Band.  More than seventy-five interested people came, and the first cash donation to The Sound Machine was made by the Gibson Family of John North High School in Riverside.

    The first rehearsal was held two weeks later on March 1st, at Upland High School. Tim Achin joined as percussion instructor one week later.  The band purchased its first instruments(drums, sousaphones, mellophones and flags) in May.  The Sound Machine entered and marched in its first parade in the City of Carson on June 2nd, wearing band shirts, blue jeans, and red bandannas, taking first place in open class bands.  Two weeks later the band performed at the Lompoc Flower Festival Parade and Field Show, in full uniform, thanks to "Band Mom", Nan Brest.  The band competed in local July 4th parades and also traveled to Sunnyvale/San Jose area in July to perform at a field show competition.  In August the band competed at its first P.C.Y.B.A. Championship Show in Santa Ana.

    In 1985, The Sound Machine grew in size, added a full time color guard instructor, Debbie Stephens, performed at the Southern California Youth Band Council Show at El Camino College, traveled to San Diego for a stand-still competition, won its first Sweepstakes trophy at the Corona Parade, hosted the First Annual Inland Empire Invitational, and made three trips to Central and Northern California(Lompoc, Salinas and Sunnyvale).

    1986 saw The Sound Machine grow and continue in its development.  The band traveled throughout California performing at parades and field competitions and almost made it to Vancouver, British Columbia for Expo '86, but the plans fell through.

    In 1987 a great group of kids joined the band; several are now on The Sound Machine's Staff.  Richard Romero became the color guard instructor.  The band continued traveling in California and competing in parade and field events, including their fourth straight P.C.Y.B.A. Championship Show.

    Classic Rock 'n Roll became the band's theme music in 1988 with their first presentation of the music of Elton John.  Sharon Bailey became Richard's assistant in teaching the color guard.  Also, The Sound Machine traveled beyond California's border for the first time when it toured for 16 days and competed in the "Seattle Seafair Torchlight Parade" and "Field Show", the Edmonds, Washington Show and the Championship Show in Sunnyvale.

    In 1989 The Sound Machine's Drum Line started to make a name for its self.  An improved and upgraded Elton John theme was presented in the band's show.  Richard left us to join the Army and Sharon took over the color guard.  Lots of local parades, stand-still shows and Tour #2 to Washington, White Rock and Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, and the P.C.Y.B.A. Championships in Salem, Oregon.

    1990 was a banner year in the history of The Sound Machine.  Highlights include: more trophies at the Christmas parades, the Drum Line entered the Southern California Drum Line Circuit and placing second in open class, new uniforms, Jason Goodman joined the Percussion Staff, the first trip to Seaside, Tour #3 to the Pacific Northwest, and the Band won High Percussion and High Music at the P.C.Y.B.A. Championships in Burbank.  But all was not good in 1990, for on July 6th the band lost percussion instructor Tim Achin in an automobile accident.  He became the band's inspiration for their great finish to the season.

    In 1991 the appeared in the "Hollywood Welcome Home to the Troops Parade" that was televised nationally.  Kendall Crawford was in his sixth and age-out year as Drum Major.  A very difficult show was chosen, both musically and in drill demand(over 85 sets).  John Steinwinder joined the Staff and the band traveled to the Northwest again on Tour #4 with Championships held at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon.  The band finished the season in a joint concert, in Anaheim, with the Holon Academy Band, from Holon, Israel.

    In 1992, we earned a Sponsorship from Stingray Percussion - NEW DRUMS!  The Drum Line competed in the Drum Circuit again and The Sound Machine won a major Parade Sweepstakes in the Brea Parade.  A great show, based in the music of the rock group "STYX", was created by the band and Staff.  The band traveled on its longest tour ever, Tour #5, covering six States(California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho, Oregon and Washington) and lasted 17 days. Since the Championship Show was held in mid July, in Kent, Washington, the Inland Empire Invitational was the last show of the season and The Sound Machine took First Place with a score of 94.0.  The summer ended with a Sweepstakes win at the Big Bear Parade, even though the band had to march through the competition zone during a thunder hail-storm.  At the end of the season, Ron Barbee announced his retirement from the band so that he can spend more time with his young family.

    The 1992-93 Season started with a bang as The Sound Machine marched 117 members and alumni, in the Fabulous "Hollywood Christmas Parade" that was televised worldwide.  The band, in conjunction with S.B.I., became a member of Drum Corps West.  After several first place parade finishes, the band started working on their summer show, featuring music of Peter Gabriel and Queen.  In June, the band performed in exhibition at the Velvet Knights D.C.W. Show. Lonette Estrada became the color guard instructor.  The band's show was improving rapidly and the Drum Line was taking High Percussion at most of the competitions.  Tour #6 took the band up north for their fourth "Seattle SeaFair Parade", the S.B.I. Pre-lims in Seattle and the Championships in Salem, where the band and the color guard each finished in a very respectable third place.  After looking at the placement of the band's finishes during the year, both in parade and field, it can safely be said that the BEST Youth Band in the State of California for 1993 is The Sound Machine of the Inland Empire.

    The 1993-94 Season saw the Band gain official California Non-Profit tax status, become Explorer Post 629 of the Boy Scouts of America, and celebrate its Tenth Anniversary.  The band won Sweepstakes at the East L.A. Christmas Parade and then got busy designing its new show, based on music from "Kansas" and "Dream Theatre".  Tim McElearney joined the percussion staff.  The band traveled on three short tours and did very well in competition, taking third again at the S.B.I. Championships in Sunnyvale!

    In the 1994-95 Season the band bought new mellophones and baritones and grew in size.  We picked the music of "Yanni" and "Yes" to be featured in our show and the band worked on special music for parade competition.  Tim took over as drum caption head and Rick Moran joined the percussion staff.  The show became our most challenging visual presentation ever.  The band won Sweepstakes at both the Huntington Beach and Pacific Palisades parades on July 4th.  Tour took us to Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Nevada where the band finished third in SBI and won high color guard and high percussion at the Championships.

    The 1995-96 season started with a very successful Christmas parade season by winning two first places and a Sweepstakes.  Music from the movie based on the Beatle's "Stg. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" was picked as the theme of the show.  We toured to the bay area for shows and then took a trips to Fisherman's Wharf and Yosemite National Park.  The band finished third at Championships and the drumline took another percussion "Championship."  We finished the summer with the La Habra parade and a over-night trip to Big Bear for "Old Miner's Day Parade."

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