Veteran Huntington High School teacher Brian Stellato has taken the reins of the Blue Devil marching band.
Mr. Stellato is entering his 15th year as a teacher. A Sachem High School graduate, he earned an undergraduate degree in music education with a concentration in instrumental music at University of Delaware.
A three-year drum major with the University of Delaware’s Fightin’ Blue Hen marching band, Mr. Stellato went on to obtain a master’s degree at Stony Brook University with a concentration in educational leadership. His first teaching position was at Southampton High School in 2003/04. He taught elementary band in the Sachem school district for three years before coming to Huntington in October 2007.
Brian Stellato walks on the Blue Devil
Stadium track. (Darin Reed photo.)
“Brian is a strong presence and valued member of our department,” said Eric Reynolds, district director of fine and performing arts. “Serving in his capacities as a high school band director, Tri-M faculty advisor, pit orchestra director and various leadership roles in with the marching band through the years, Brian puts his all into his work. The connections he makes with his students and their families are always extraordinarily positive and productive.”
At one time or another, Mr. Stellato has been the marching band’s director, co-director and assistant director. He was the assistant director last year, but stepped back into the top spot when last year’s director, Jessica Castaneda left to take a teaching position in Port Washington.
Mr. Stellato is currently the director of the high school’s junior symphonic band, wind ensemble and the pit orchestra for the spring musical. He will be teaching Music Theory I this year.
“Brian’s visibility and active participation within the district and larger community reach far beyond the rehearsal room,” Mr. Reynolds said. “As a member of the high school leadership committee and the shared decision making committee at the district level, Brian participates in a variety of community events including Safe Halloween and Relay For Life. No doubt, his community and school are close to his heart.”
Mr. Stellato just completed his first season as director of SCOPE’s SCALE summer arts enrichment program, which was held daily throughout July at the high school. He has also been active staff member of the George N. Parks Drum Major Academy, a summer workshop held across the county that provides instruction in conducting, teaching techniques, communication skills and leadership.
The Blue Devil marching band is in the midst of its annual summer training camp, which is being held at J. Taylor Finley Middle School. The band’s professional staff and student leadership are all on the same page and the outlook for the year is exceedingly positive.
“My first experiences with the Blue Devil marching band go back to the mid-90s when I was a student competing against them,” Mr. Reynolds said. “The band’s history of successes are long and storied. Thanks to the tremendous professionalism and leadership throughout the years, including Mr. Stellato’s, the band now stands on solid ground for future generations. The musical experiences our band students enjoy are second to none. More importantly, the life skills and lessons the staff instill in our students aid in their personal growth and prepare them for their futures. It is exciting for me to watch the Blue Devil Band along with the district and Huntington community with eyes full of pride.”