June 11, 2021
We are the only band that we know of so far who did a spring marching band show.
In the fall is typically when we would gather our marching band, but this Spring afforded us the ability to go outside which was a great opportunity for the kids to see each other. A lot of them hadn’t seen one another in over a year if they weren’t going to school on the same days. Providing this opportunity allowed them to practice every afternoon for 4 days a week to learn music and perform.
We had a lot of conversations with our colleagues throughout New England and New York, and a lot of them were surprised we were able to pull it off. It wasn’t too difficult if I can be honest; we were self contained in the parking lot and met virtually on rainy days. It really was amazing to “get the band back together again,” to continue the momentum with our program going into next year.
Honoring our seniors was something we didn’t think we’d get a chance to do, so being able to bring them back before they graduated was really special. Our drum major, Aurora Geleney, didn’t think she’d have the opportunity and when she found out she’d be able to follow through, she was so happy.
“It was really exciting,” she said, “because obviously there was a lot of hope going into our senior year for marching band. It was heartbreaking when we thought we wouldn’t be able to have that. I was filled with so much joy when I got the call from Mr. Smith. It was pretty amazing to be able to have something go right in a year where everything had gone wrong. It was really bittersweet counting down to the final performance. When we’d completed the last part of the piece at our final performance, I locked eyes with my best friend who plays clarinet and we instantly smiled at each other. When I turned back to the band after I’d given my salute, tears welled up in my eyes because I was hit with the realization that it was my last performance.”
I had a chance to chat with the band members, and was able to pull together a video. It was so interesting to hear their comments and I am thrilled to be able to share them.
We’re really looking forward to the upcoming year, and wish our seniors all the best in their futures!
- Kyle Smith, Westbrook High School Marching Band Director (Video Link: https://youtu.be/zIRpDbRo1qk)