Talon Marks

Jazz it up: Cerritos College pep band let the good times roll

Dr.+David+Betancourt+plays+with+the+Pep+Band+during+rehearsal+Photo+credit%3A+Derrick+Coleman
Dr. David Betancourt plays with the Pep Band during rehearsal Photo credit: Derrick Coleman

Dr. David Betancourt plays with the Pep Band during rehearsal Photo credit: Derrick Coleman

Dr. David Betancourt plays with the Pep Band during rehearsal Photo credit: Derrick Coleman

Derrick Coleman

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The Cerritos College pep band, led by Dr. Betancourt, play at every game and provide that school spirit that is needed to win games. While the pep band carries a lot of history, the students in the band work hard for the pep rallies.

Although the pep band’s main function is providing spirit for the school, they also make sure that they’re exciting and fun to listen to.

The pep band preforms at games, and at other campus events when invited.

“We perform at other events on campus when we can. We like to bring the school spirit to any event,” Betancourt said.

With the pep band being open for anyone to join, it makes it an open and welcoming environment.

If and when students are interested in joining the pep band, said Betancourt, they are placed within their level of skill.

During the fall semester, the pep band practices every Thursday.

This year the pep band has a guitar player, George Lukakis, which gives the band a more distinctive sound.

Lukakis joined the pep band with the intrigue of plugging in an amplifier to his guitar and playing loudly and resounding at football games.

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George Loukakis Favorite Guitar player is David Gilmore from Pink Floyd Photo credit: Derrick Coleman

While Mia Mars’ interest in joining the pep band, was her walking in on the pep band’s rehearsal one and approached by Betancourt to play on the pep band.

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Mia Mars favorite song to play on saxophone is Probably one step beyond by Madness. Photo credit: Derrick Coleman

Mars wanted to be that “one cool chick that plays the saxophone.”

Fernando Hernandez said, “I started music in my eighth grade since my football career ended, I got injured pretty bad and I would no longer be able to play football. I decided to go with one of my other passions, which was music.

“I joined the drum line my freshman year of high school over at Rancho High School and did [played in the band] all four years. Once I graduated, I told myself that I wanted to be in a college band and once I saw them [pep band] play, Betancourt told me to join the band.”

Betancourt explained how the pep band learn new music.

“It depends on the song,” what we do to start the season off every year, is we will take about four or five songs that we know we need for games. It takes the pep band about two weeks to really get the songs.

And then every week after that, the pep band try to add about two to three more songs. By the time football season starts, they may have learned six or seven songs. Towards the end of the season they will have close to 20 to 30 songs.”

Lukakis said, “I love that we’re loud, and the way Betancourt directs what we are doing.” He also enjoys the songs they’re playing, which include lot of pop culture music, like Chicano music.

Hernandez said, “This band, we have an amazing mentor [Betancourt]. If he sees someone struggling, he will come and help you. He keeps going and he never gives up and breaks it down for you anytime there’s something wrong.”

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About the Writer
Derrick Coleman, Staff Writer

Derrick Coleman is a staff writer at Talon Marks. He was born in San Jose, Costa Rica, he lived there for 15 years before coming to the United States. Growing up in Costa Rica as a disabled person came with a lot of challenges for Coleman who has Cerebral Palsy.

Despite that, one of his favorite things to do was running on the beach and of his favorite exercises is swimming because it helps relax his muscles. One of Coleman’s passions is taking pictures, he’s been a gifted photographer for over 10 years and is majoring in portrait and wedding photography with a minor in multimedia arts.

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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.
Jazz it up: Cerritos College pep band let the good times roll