The 2023 Marching Band competition season starts this weekend and the Walt Whitman High School Marching Band is ready to go with their new show “Wanted.” They were on the field Thursday night for their final practice before Sunday’s New York State Field Band Conference (NYSFBC) competition at Brentwood High School.
After a full summer of rehearsals, Band Director Greg Modelewski says the group is right where he wanted them to be going into this first competition. “We're doing full drill, full music, beginning to end,” he explained. “Obviously there are details that are gonna be added throughout the season, but we got our run that we wanted to do. We want to run the entire show, from a drill and music perspective, and we have that done perfectly.”
While the music is the most prominent feature, there are so many fine details that go into each show - including props, costumes and flags for Color Guard, plus some very complicated drill and choreography - that a show may not be fully complete going into the first competition. Details will continue to be added on and fine tuned, often based on show judges comments, right up until the NYSFBC Championships in Syracuse in October. Thursday was the first time the band got to work with their props - a bank that turns into a jail, and a saloon.
The western-themed show this year, “Wanted,” uses music to tell the story about an Old West bank robbery, the ensuing chase - and then spectators have to wait until the end to find out if the bad guy ends up in jail! Modelewski won’t give up the ending.
“We've dedicated two of our Color Guard members to being characters,” said Mr. Modelewski. “One is the outlaw that steals from the bank in the beginning. And one is the sheriff that pursues the outlaw throughout the four movements.” And the rest of the band gets in on the act trying to help the sheriff find the outlaw.
With 66 members, this year’s marching band is the largest the high school has seen since 2015. Twenty-five new musicians joined this year, and that includes students from Stimson Middle School. “They are doing absolutely fantastic. They’ve shown their commitment and they really want to perform Sunday.” said a very proud Mr. Modelewski.
We wish the Walt Whitman High School Marching Band the best of success this competition season! So many thanks to Band Directors Greg Modelewski and Sean Lucas; Music Instructors Shannon Ganci, Gabrielle Sanft, Joe Vetack and Ryan Resky; Percussion Instructors Abbie Yaeger, Tim Rise and Mina Guvenc; and Color Guard Instructors Jose Salermon-Zeron and Brian Portillo; and our amazing Band Parents Association for all their hard work. Eyes With Pride!
Thursday was the first time the band got to work with their props - a bank that turns into a jail, and a saloon.
There are so many fine details that go into each show, including props, costumes and flags for Color Guard, plus some very complicated drill and choreography.
Two Color Guard members have been dedicated as being characters throughout the show.
The 2023 Marching Band competition season starts this weekend at Brentwood High School. Best of luck to everyone on a successful season!!