The Huntington Blue Devil marching band has been perfect this fall, winning all three New York State Field Band Conference competitions it has entered and impressing judges and crowds all along the way.
The Blue Devils tallied 77.35 points last Sunday at Malverne to win their division. It was the band’s highest score this fall. Huntington earlier claimed victory in competitions at Brentwood (74.0) and Copiague (76.35).
“I think this band season has been truly wonderful so far,” said Anjali Kapur, who along with Rachel Roday serves as the Blue Devils’ drum major. “Since the start of rehearsals during the summer, the band members have been enthusiastic, hardworking and eager to make this year’s show a great one. We just had a fantastic performance at the Malverne competition, marking the halfway point in our season. I am confident that the band will finish out the year just as strongly as we started it. Personally, I am having a really enjoyable and memorable last year with the marching band and can’t wait for championships in Syracuse.”
Huntington will compete three more times before the state championship in Syracuse on October 29-30. The Blue Devils will take the field on Sunday, October 9 at Arlington, Sunday, October 16 at Sachem and Saturday night, October 22 at Mineola. The band will also perform halftime shows during home football games on Saturday, October 15 and October 22.
Blue Devil band members are the best
in the field. (Darin Reed photo.)
“I think this season is going great,” Ms. Roday said. “I’m blown away with the effort that these kids are putting in and even more impressed with their result. It’s crazy to think how far we’ve come since band camp.”
The band’s professional staff is led by director Jessica Castaneda and assistant director Brian Stellato. About 115 students comprise the band and color guard. Huntington’s 2016 show is New World.
“I feel that the band is having a very successful and fun season so far,” Ms. Castaneda said. “Each week we are making adjustments to details both musically and visually and it makes the big picture that much better when it comes time for competitions. We are looking for the students to keep pushing to raise the bar each week. Syracuse is in our sights and as long as the students work to make memories and have a goal of peaking at the Dome, we will finish this run feeling very accomplished.”
The Blue Devil band marched in last Saturday’s Homecoming Day parade. As they moved down Main Street and up to New York Avenue on the way to the high school, the pageantry wasn’t lost on those standing on sidewalks watching, even on an overcast day.
“I’m extremely excited to see how much further we can grow as a band,” Ms. Roday said. “We still have a lot of work to do and these kids are totally up for the challenge. It’s really bittersweet for me and the other seniors since we only have a few weeks left. We definitely want to make the most out of our last season and do our best at the remaining competitions. I think everyone is looking forward to the trek up to Arlington and Mineola’s night competition. They are definitely my favorite because the band always has a different energy, which is exciting to watch and be a part of. Besides that, all that’s left is our final performance at the Syracuse Carrier Dome. No matter how the season finishes up, I’m so proud of my band and all the work they’ve put into this show. I truly consider them my family. Eyes with pride!”
The Blue Devil marching band was organized in 1934 by Ohio native and Oberlin graduate, James Cloyd Doty, who taught for decades in Huntington. It was open to boys and girls in all four classes of the high school. The student body helped raise and contribute the funds necessary to outfit band members in blue and white uniforms.
Blue Devil marching band members are
splending musicians. (Darin Reed photo)
“I feel that the season is going really well,” said Jordan Biener, the Blue Devils’ brass captain. “The band is working hard and it shows every time we perform. I’m excited to see how far we can take this show. It’s my senior season and I’m glad that it is with this show and this group of people.”
The band’s musicians, color guard members, professional staff and leaders all hope the band continues its steady improvement as it refines the 2016 show while on the march to the state finals.
“I think that this year’s band season is going extremely well and the band has a lot of positive energy,” field major Connor Grosso said. “I’m just hoping we keep the same energy going until state championships.”