Mardnie Mentor’s senior year internship with Huntington High School music teacher Brian Stellato concluded with a flourish as the teenager directed the junior symphonic band during the recent spring concert.
Ms. Mentor enjoyed a multi-faceted internship over the course of the school year. “In September and October she assisted with first period marching band music rehearsals,” Mr. Stellato said. “From November to mid-February she assisted with first period concert band rehearsals by helping with classroom procedures and by playing along with the kids on tenor sax. She began to get some experience up on the conductor’s podium running some daily band warmup exercises.”
When classes resumed following the February vacation, Ms. Mentor began rehearsing her own piece with the junior band in preparation for the spring concert. “She would plan out her instructional lessons and worked to improve her conducting technique, along with the band’s performance each and every time she was in front of the students.”
The teenager performed admirably at the concert as a director. “She did such an impressive job and really showed her composure and professionalism,” Mr. Stellato said. “I am so proud of her!”
Ms. Mentor is headed to St. John’s University in Queens in the fall. “Interning with Mr. Stellato and the junior band was definitely one of the many highlights of senior year,” she said. “I’m not going to lie, getting up in the morning was a little challenging sometimes, but Mr. Stellato was more than understanding and was always eager answer any questions that I had.”
The entire process associated with directing the band was eye-opening. “Picking out a piece with Stells was really interesting because, I had to keep in mind that whatever I chose was going to become my baby for the next couple months,” Ms. Mentor said. “Getting up in front of the band was nerve wracking for a little while since I only knew about half of the band, but because of that everyone was extremely patient and kind. As time went on we became really comfortable with each other. Everyone worked really well together, which led to an excellent performance. I couldn’t be happier with the way that everything turned out.”