The bold music, the vivid colors, the stunning pageantry; the Huntington High School marching band showed why it’s one of the best in the state as the Blue Devils captured first place honors at their own home show this past Sunday afternoon.
Six other bands from the metropolitan area joined Huntington at Blue Devil Stadium for a day of big sounds and sensational artistic displays. More than 600 musicians and color guard members entertained a large crowd filling the bleachers.
The Blue Devils garnered their highest score of the fall competitive season, compiling a mark of 79.95. Huntington’s color guard unit had a lot to do with the band’s success.
“The home show was amazing,” drum major Mardnie Mentor said. “It was a really nice way to end my last home show. Seeing the band perform like they never have before makes me really excited to continue the next half of the season and only get better.”
Huntington’s Band Parents Association pulled out all the stops, coordinating a remarkably informative journal for the event, serving up food and refreshments and offering a wide range of apparel and related items for sale.
The highlight of the day had to be the Blue Devil marching band’s early afternoon performance. The musicians hit all the right notes and their graceful and synchronized movements along with the color guard’s powerful display captivated the judges and the crowd.
“The color guard has been working incredibly hard over the last couple weeks and it’s awesome to see it pay off and help the whole band improve,” senior color guard captain Sophia Martinez said. “It was so great to see so many bands come together and interact in such a positive way. It made the day so much more special to us.”
The band’s score over its first three competitions has risen steadily from 75.95 at Brentwood to 76 at Copiague and now 79.95 at Blue Devil Stadium on Sunday.
“The one word I have about our home show is ‘pride,’” said Jamie Rosenbauer, one of this year’s drum majors. “Leaving that field and knowing that we just had the best performance of our season is such an incredible feeling. I truly couldn’t have ended my senior year on my home turf a better way. Our score and placement was better than ever expected, but the true win we had on that field was performing with our hearts full of pride.”
The Blue Devils still have competitions remaining at Walt Whitman, Arlington, Sachem and Mineola, but right now the band is still savoring last weekend’s performance before the home crowd.
“There’s nothing more rewarding than performing our best on our home field,” drum major Katie Riley said. “We came out confident and executed a strong performance as reflected in our score. Having the support of friends and families in the stand was an added benefit. This was my last home show and being recognized along with the other juniors and seniors was quite emotional. We truly are a family and these are the memories I’ll never forget.”
Band Director Brian Stellato and his staff are happy with the progress the musicians and color guard members have been making. Everyone is hoping the Blue Devils peak at the New York State Field Band Conference Championships on October 29 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.
“What an awesome day,” said Mr. Stellato after the home show had wrapped up. “So much hard work by so many dedicated parents and volunteers. The entire marching band community came together and showed off why Huntington is a special place. And to top the day off, the 2017 HBDMB had by far their best performance of the season so far!"
Huntington’s marching band history dates to 1934 when music teacher James Cloyd Doty founded the organization. All these years later the band remains one of the finest in the state, if not the country as last Sunday’s home show proved.
“The home show was amazing,” said junior Katherine DeGennaro, who performs with the band’s front ensemble. “We had a different kind of energy than we had at previous competitions and it really paid off as our score jumped significantly. Overall, the day went well in all areas.”