Banding Together

It’s 9 a.m. on a Saturday and Kai Quizon is in full uniform ready to tackle a long day of preparation and performances for a home football game at Spanos Stadium. As drum major, Quizon leads his band mates through rehearsal and performances totaling about 12 hours, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Mustang band has given me a community that is unwavering in support and love,” Quizon said.  “There is no place on campus where I feel as safe and included as in band. It’s the only reason why I am so successful here at Cal Poly.”

“Mustang band has given me a community that is unwavering in support and love.”

Quizon is a third-year mechanical engineering student, who has been involved in band since freshman year. He started on the trumpet and moved his way up to become drum major. In that role, Quizon leads over 180 band members to rehearse and prepare for game days. Each student spends about 200 hours a quarter performing aside from regular rehearsals during the week. 

Quizon relies on upperclassmen for advice and support especially from others in his major. As he progressed through his classes, he discovered a commonality with other mechanical engineers in band. They tackled dynamics problems holistically as opposed to linearly. Quizon believes learning about music influenced this.

Instead of thinking about the individual parts of a problem like individual notes in a sequence, students view the problem as part of a whole and in this case, a song. 

“Music is another language — we learn to write, read and speak (play) it.  Knowing this skill makes you think about engineering in a whole new way,” said Quizon.

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