By SHERIDAN CYR
It’s nothing but forward momentum for the Southington High School Blue Knights Marching Band—as long as “forward” is moving westward.
This year’s show, titled “Destiny West,” is a show of exploration and discovery, said band director Sara Ossias at the band’s annual family preview night the evening before their first competition. The performance depicts a symbolic travel across the country as the color guard leads the band coast to coast, over the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains.
“Over the past month, our students have been working very hard for our performances,” said Ossias. “Every week you see this show, it’s going to be different. Each week, it grows. It doesn’t ever stay stagnant. That’s one of the great things about this program. It challenges our students in different ways to grow as people, as musicians, as dancers.”
The band practices four days a week during the summer and fall, and the color guard and drum line practice all year round. The band goes to mini band camp in June, then practice eight hours a day for two weeks in day camp in August. It all leads up to their national competition, this year on Nov. 10 at MetLife stadium.
“We’ve made a lot of progress from camp. Things have really come together,” said drum major Logan McInnis. His fellow drum majors, Stephen Statkevich and Maddie Chasse agreed.
“Every week when the parents come and see us, there’s something different, and the same goes with us,” said Chasse. “We’re always learning and progressing.”
Woodwind captain Justin Fontana and brass captain Matt Semmel both shared excitement for the band’s season and are eager to see its potential.
“There is always the challenge of keeping all these things in the back of your mind while you’re performing: keeping tempo, maintaining good posture, being in line with everyone else,” said Fontana. “All these things go a mile a minute. It’s just important to keep track.”
There are challenges for the color guard as well, shared one of the captains, Tori Sperry. With heavy rain this past summer, the team hasn’t had as much field time as they would like. But, captain Jenna Mariani remains excited.
“I’m really looking forward to introducing our prop this year. There will be an actual stage on the field representing the Rocky Mountains,” she shared.
At their first competition on Saturday, in the Class VI Open Band division, Southington earned a score of 80.325. They did not compete against anyone.
The Knights have much to look forward to this year. Their big home show is already right around the corner, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 20 where they will host up to 17 teams in a competition at the home field. The University of Connecticut and Central Connecticut State University’s marching bands will be featured as well.
Next up, Southington will challenge themselves at the Naugatuck High School competition on Saturday, Sept. 22. Look for the band at the Apple Harvest Festival parade on Sunday, Sept. 30 and follow along with the competitions at www.southingtonbkmb.com or on Facebook.
To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Sheridan Cyr at SCyr@SouthingtonObserver.com.
Photos by JOHN GORALSKI
SHS Band Schedule
Sept. 22, Naugatuck HS Competition, Time TBA
Sept. 29, NFA Competition, Time TBA
Sept. 30, Apple Harvest Festival Parade, 2 p.m.
Oct. 6, Cheshire HS Competition, Time TBA
Oct. 13, Trumbull HS Competition, Time TBA
Oct. 23, Orchestra and symphonic band concert, 7 p.m.
Oct. 27, USBands NE States Championship in New Britain
Nov. 3, USBands Regional Competition in Danbury
Nov 10, USBands Nationals at Met Life Stadium
Nov 14, Veteran’s Day concert, TBA
Dec 19, SHS winter concert, 6 and 7 p.m.