Fresh off a wildly successful weeklong training camp, the Huntington High School Blue Devil marching band is ready to stake its claim as being among the best in the state this fall.
The Blue Devils capped off the camp with a family show this past Sunday afternoon. It showcased the various sections of the band and gave a sneak peek of this year’s field show.
Director of Fine & Performing Arts Eric Reynolds is flanked by Brian Stellato and Jason Giachetti. (Darin Reed photo.)
Jennifer Low, Michael Reed and Robert Jean-Gilles are this year’s Blue Devil drum majors. Andrew Knowles is the field major.
“Band camp was very successful this year and we were able to come out with a complete show in just six and a half days,” Ms. Low said. “The band has a lot of hope for this season. I’m excited to see what we can do with this year’s show. These students are nothing short of hardworking and committed and I believe that will make for an amazing season!”
Last week’s camp featured very long days, but the 100-plus member strong band endured. Musicians and color guard members worked closely with professional staff members to master their roles in this year’s show.
“Band camp was really energetic this year,” Mr. Reed said. “Even with spotty weather we put together an awesome show that will only continue to grow as the season goes on.”
While the camp was surely tiring, the experience was also an exhilarating one. The camp played out at J. Taylor Finley Middle School. Auxiliary lighting was brought to the site to keep the area well illuminated for the evening session.
“This year’s band camp was truly a special one,” Mr. Jean-Gilles said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better last band camp. The new members are really working hard and I’m extremely excited for what the rest of the season has to offer.”
The Blue Devils are looking forward to their first competition. “Band camp was a great success,” Mr. Knowles said. “Even with tough weather conditions and a difficult show to perform both musically and visually, the band made amazing progress and I know our hard work will continue to pay off throughout the season.”
Blue Devil marching band staff
Veteran district music teacher Brian Stellato is the Blue Devil band’s director with Patrick Neary acting as assistant director. The staff also includes Derek Schmelter (battery instructor), Christopher Wink (brass instructor), Mallory Martilla (lead color guard instructor), Kelly Neary (color guard instructor), Frank Battista (miscellaneous instructor), Dan DeOliveira (miscellaneous instructor), Jason Giachetti (pep band director), Corina Antonucci (pit instructor), Jennifer Schmelter (visual instructor) and Katherine Adams (woodwind instructor).
“Disruption” is 2019 field show
The 2019 field show is titled “Disruption.” It features musical selections that include Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain and Hans Zimmer’s The Kraken, which was popularized in Pirates of the Caribbean.
The new show features the band playing Swan Lake, only to be “disrupted” and to veer off to Night on Bald Mountain before returning to Swan Lake before being disrupted again toward The Kraken before returning once more to Swan Lake.
Band student leadership
The band’s student leadership includes flute section leaders Molly Kessler and Natalie Ciccone; clarinet section leaders Neil Jean-Baptiste and Catherine McCooey; alto sax section leader Carrie Kilgour; low brass section leaders Zubair Ali and Michael Mathews; mello section leader Aileen Lopez; trumpet section leaders Nathan Musso and Jose Suarez and tenor sax/baritone sax leader Miles Tierney.
Nathan Musso will serve as the brass captain with Neil Jean-Baptiste as the woodwind captain. Oskar Kilgour has been named the battery captain. Peyton Kalb and Natalie Furman will lead the pit section. Kyra DeSalvo and Jasmine Clark will be the color guard captains.
Band Parents Association
The Band Parent Association’s executive committee consists of Matthew Stanley (president), Robert Conte (vice president/color guard liaison), Kim Gooding (co-treasurer), Debbie Knowles (co-treasurer), Banassa Jean-Gilles (recording secretary/co-head chaperone) and Dominque Stanley (corresponding secretary/list-keeper, band news).
Members at-large include Jack Malone (co-head roadie), Ruth Musso (co-head roadie), Adam Levine (co-head roadie), Leslie Glascock (co-head chaperone), Jen Spina (co-fundraising chair, sign-up and volunteer coordination), Nancy Levine (merchandise chair), Debbie Ciccone (assistant merchandise chair), Peggy Low (public relations), Ivy Soric (Finley liaison), Darin Reed (historian/archivist), Nevin Soric (website administrator), Tom Holly, Sandi Furman, Tracy Tucker and Leslie Kilgour.
Jennifer LaVertu is the band’s uniform coordinator and Karen Wong is the assistant uniform coordinator.
Competitive Schedule for 2019
The band’s regular season schedule includes the following “local” competitions:
Sunday, September 15 at Brentwood High School
Saturday, September 22 at Copiague High School
Saturday, September 28 at Malverne High School
Sunday, October 6 at Huntington High School (Home Show)
Saturday, October 12 at Sachem High School
Sunday, October 13 at Arlington High School
Saturday, October 19 at Mineola High School
The New York State Field Band Conference Championships are scheduled for Saturday-Sunday, October 26-27 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.