There won't be too much pressure on Huntington Beach Union High School District students when they take the stage Sunday at Edison High School.
At least, they won't have to audition behind a screen before a panel of invisible judges, walking in on a carpeted floor that makes it impossible for those on the other side to tell they're wearing men's or women's shoes.
That's the audition process for prospective members of the United States Army Field Band, which will kick off its West Coast spring tour Sunday at Edison. Sgt. Michelle Laska, the band's tour coordinator, said openings on the roster are few and the competition for them intense.
So when band and choral students get to briefly join the ensemble Sunday, they'll know they're playing with some of the best.
The band, which formed in 1946, is one of 109 bands that represent the United States military — the largest employer of musicians in the world, according to Laska. Every year, the band's four ensembles play more than 400 shows combined, stopping at colleges, churches, parks and, most often, high schools.