District Launches Annual Marching Band Festival

District Launches Annual Marching Band Festival photo thumbnail138652

The Valley Stream Central High School District held its inaugural Marching Band Festival on October 28 at the Memorial Junior High School athletic field. Featuring performances by the bands from Central, North and South High School, as well as Memorial Junior High School’s pep band, an enthusiastic audience of more than 200 were there to enjoy the performances.

The event kicked off with the National Anthem, played by Central’s musicians. They were followed by North’s band, which kicked off the main program with their “From the Earth to the Moon” show conducted by band director, Todd Holly. Mr. Holly’s narration tracing the arc of the first controlled flight at Kitty Hawk, NC to our landing on the moon featured an impressive trumpet solo by Logan Balsan, as well as a smoke machine to recreate a rocket launch. 

Central’s show “The Hits of 1979,” featured now classic hits such as Fleetwood Mac’s “Tusk,” “Old Time Rock and Roll” by Bob Seger, and “My Sharona” by the Knack. The impressive drumming and propulsive rhythms were flawlessly executed under the direction of Douglas Coleman.

South’s ensemble, conducted by drum major James Quaranto and led by band director, Daniel Creegan, presented a program of highlights from the “Pirates of the Caribbean” soundtrack to conclude the afternoon. The Falcon marching band provided an exciting finale to the afternoon, playing classic themes composed by Hans Zimmer such as “The Black Pearl,” “Fog Bound,” and “The Medallion Calls.”  

Under the direction of Laurie Hughes and Stewart Ratzken, Memorial’s Pep Band presented a range of popular songs from the bleachers in between each set. They kept the crowd entertained as the other bands transitioned and prepared for their routines.  

Each ensemble had its own unique flair, bringing music to the field while moving in perfectly synchronized steps. Coached by Michelle Vikse, the Vallarettes kickline team gave Central’s show some extra dazzle, while North’s and South’s cologuards represented their schools with great enthusiasm.

“This is probably the first time that all four schools have been able to perform expressly for each other and for a large crowd at the same time,” District Director of Fine and Performing Arts Dr. Adam Erdos said. “It gave everyone present the opportunity to really take in and enjoy each other’s shows. There was a true spirit of celebration out on the field and in the stands, that acknowledged so many of the good things that our students do all of the time. I hope this is the first of many annual marching band festivals to come. These students deserve to be featured like this and the greater Valley Stream community should be proud of them every day.”