The Walt Whitman High School Marching Band kicked off their 2021-2022 season with their annual Marching Band Camp that ran from August 9th through August 15th. Both current and new members of the high school’s marching band committed to a week full of immersing themselves in learning musical score and drill choreography in preparation for a new year of shows and competitions. Over 50 students attended band camp this summer, tirelessly practicing in person from 9 am to 9 pm during the grueling week of summer heat to prepare for this year’s show, Dia de Los Muertos.
The band’s season typically ends at the conclusion of Winter Guard in December, but this is just the beginning of the planning phase for the following season to come. Last year their schedule was sparse compared to years past, making a few appearances at halftime during home football games and small performances to coincide with COVID regulations. With the new school year approaching, we have already noticed a world of a difference as we return to in-person activity. Coming from last year’s fully virtual rehearsals and no in-person practices, our musicians, coordinators, parents, families, and spectators are beyond excited to see their hard work come to fruition.
When band camp wraps up for the summer, it is customary for the band to perform to parents their first show, marking the start of the season. This year, they will be performing Dia de Los Muertos as part of the Day of the Dead celebration. “What's really cool about this show is that it is going to encompass this theme of a growing process in that we’re really trying to work towards what’s considered an ‘in-house production’,” shared Co-Director, Mr. Sean Lucas. “It’s been really fun this week,” Mr. Lucas decreed to the proud families. “If you’re new to the program, we’re really, really happy to have your kids here, and they seem to be having a great time too.” And as Mr. Lucas mentioned, the marching band’s season is truly an in-process work. They consider their final performance to be the finished product of the show, where the pieces finally come together into three spectacular movements. Knowing how excited the band parents are to see each performance, he commented in saying “You love seeing the day-to-day incremental progress and I think that's what this activity is all about.”
We are looking forward to a calendar full of performances and competitions and being able to witness the hard work and progress these musicians have made. This season the band has three competitions on Long Island, the first of which is in Brentwood on Sunday, September 19th. The band will take to Whitman’s turf for their Home Show on Saturday, October 9th, where we invite several other bands to come to perform in a wonderful evening of live music at Walt Whitman High School.
A special thank you goes out to Marching Band Directors Greg Modelewski and Sean Lucas, Brass Instructors Alex Prince, Joe Vetack, and Ryan Resky, Woodwind Instructor Kennedy Burgess, Front Ensemble Instructor Joe Connors, Colorguard Instructors Joe Kircheim and Mina Guvenc, and Percussion Instructor Kevin Bonilla.