Solana Blantz performed on mellophone with Pacific Crest in 2013 and 2014.
Tell us about your background and family.
I was raised in Oxnard, California, and currently living in Chico. I have one older brother, Koa.
What brought you to Pacific Crest?
I marched two years of Open Class with Velvet Knights, and wanted to further my performance skills through a World Class performing tour. I knew Pacific Crest was local, so I decided to audition here.
How did the Pacific Crest experience impact your life?
Pacific Crest impacted me more than I could have ever imagined. During my first season I had issues getting to rehearsal, and because I didn’t make enough effort to get there I was bumped to an understudy position. I became motivated, didn’t give up, and eventually I won my spot back just before our just before our second tour.
After that first season I moved San Francisco for college, and for the first time, I earned straight A’s! This drum-corps-inspired drive also transferred to work and, after a short amount of time, I was promoted to a co-coordinator position at my job.
I returned to Pacific Crest in 2014 because it had become home for me. I met more amazing people and developed relationships that I simply couldn’t have created with anyone else but my Pacific Crest Family. Early this summer, I experienced some hardships, and I would have broken down entirely without the support of the staff and fellow performers.
How do you think Pacific Crest will affect your future goals and plans?
I am a science major, but after my first season at Pacific Crest, I decided to add a minor in music. As of this last season, I think I may change to a double major in music and science. PC made me realize I simply can’t live without music being a major part of my life.
Who has most influenced you here?
Coming from a small school and an Open Class corps, the sheer size was intense, and the coordination of Pacific Crest was somewhat amazing to behold. I finally had an enormous section that challenged me more than I had been. I finally had an exceptional instructor and section leader who helped me strive for so much more. The detailed instruction made me pay attention to all the aspects of music I had overlooked in my past experiences. The staff pushed me beyond my known capacity, and I found that I could do amazing things with that little push.
My section leader was a role model for me. While a bit intimidating at first, I found him quite heartfelt, and he cared about every single individual. I strove to be like him in his attention to detail. Because of him I desired to further the corps as much as I possibly could.
Is there something you’d like others to know about Pacific Crest?
A lot of people just don’t know how fantastic it feels to be part of the Pacific Crest family. They often don’t know how supportive all the staff and members are. They often don’t know that people here want you to succeed and will help you to achieve your goals. They often don’t know how they will fall in love with everyone here. I want to tell them that it’s hard work, but if you really want to be here, there’s nothing stopping you. Pacific Crest is family through and through, and is simply an amazing experience.