By Eliza Hallabeck
Members of the Newtown High School Marching Band & Guard participated in the Newtown Labor Day Parade on Monday, September 7, but the parade is just one of many events the students will participate in this coming season.
“We have a show that has an Egyptain theme to it, and we have called it ‘Pharaoh’s Legacy,’” said Band Director Kurt Eckhardt.
Each year, Mr Eckhardt said, when it is time to choose a show’s theme, he said he listens to a variety of music.
“This one appealed to us, because the musical arrangements sounded very solid, very appealing,” said Mr Eckhardt. “Plus we liked, as a staff, the idea of developing, visually, the idea of an Egyptian theme.”
Mr Eckhardt said the Marching Band & Guard’s show this year will involves “lots of imagery,” with ideas stemming from pyramids, pharaohs, and, maybe, mummies.
“We’re still in development,” Mr Eckhardt said. “It is something we can develop over the entire season.”
The first time the band performs “Pharaoh’s Legacy” will be on September 12 at Bethel High School.
“Our home show this year is October 10,” said Mr Eckhardt.
Marching Band & Guard Parent Board President Michele Buzzi said this year’s Annual Joseph P. Grasso Music Festival, the NHS homeshow for the marching band and guard, will highlight this year’s show, which she said will include interesting props.
“I know the kids have been working really hard with the instructors and are really dedicated,” said Ms Buzzi.
So far Mr Eckhardt said eight bands are set to participate in this year’s Grasso Music Festival.
The time and schedule of the Grasso Music Festival will be announced ahead of the event, according to Mr Eckhardt.
This year’s Marching Band & Guard has 127 members, according to Mr Eckhardt.
“They’re terrific,” Mr Eckhardt said.
Over the two weeks of band camp, held in August, Mr Eckhardt said the students were challenged with “the hottest band camp ever,” but, he said, “they hung in there and they kept improving every day.”
“They band is going to be one of the best bands in Connecticut again this year,” said Mr Eckhardt. “Very competitive.”
The Marching Band & Guard members, according to Mr Eckhardt, have shown a “fantastic attitude” so far this year.
“These kids want to achieve, they want to work hard, they want to have pride in what they do, [and] they want to be great performers,” said Mr Eckhardt.
Ms Buzzi said also said the annual 100-plus family tag sale will be held this year on September 26 in the NHS cafeteria, 12 Berkshire Road, to support the band and guard.
“The amount of items that come into the cafeteria and leave in the amount of time is amazing,” said Ms Buzzi, adding later that the event is “a great fundraiser for us.”
All the funds raised by the tag sale will go to the costs associated with the band and guard, including travel costs, according to Ms Buzzi.
The NHS Marching Band & Guard will compete at Bethel High School on September 12 in a Musical Arts Conference (MAC) competition, at a September 19 USBands competition at Brien McMahon High School, at a September 26 USBands competition at New Milford High School, at an October 3 USBands competition at Bunnell High School, at the October 10 Grasso Music Festival at NHS, at an October 16 to 18 USBands “Music in Motion“ competition at Towson University in Baltimore, at an October 24 USBands competition at Danbury High School, at an October 31 USBands New England States Championships at New Britain High School, and at a November 7 US Bands National Championships competition at MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J.
The Marching Band & Guard will also perform at NHS football games throughout the season.
More information about the band can be found on its website, newtownbandandguard.weebly.com.