The Huntington Blue Devil marching band won its first competition.

Blue Devil Band Hums in First Competition

The Huntington Blue Devil marching band won its first competition. (Darin Reed photo.)

September 19, 2017

The Huntington Blue Devil marching band claimed victory in its division in the fall season’s first competition at Brentwood last Sunday.

The Blue Devils impressed the judges with this year’s field show, Americana. Huntington’s musicians and color guard members shined on a hot day. Weeks of rehearsals and drilling has clearly paid off.

The Huntington community was offered a glimpse of the field show a week earlier when the Blue Devils performed during halftime of the varsity football team’s home opener. But last Sunday’s performance was for real as it played out before the uncompromising eyes of judges.

Drum major Jamie Rosenbauer
Drum major Jamie Rosenbauer at
last weekend's competition. (Darin Reed photo.)

Huntington High School music teacher Brian Stellato is the band’s director. He is surrounded with seasoned veterans who handle different sections of the band. Katie Riley, Mardnie Mentor and Jamie Rosenbauer are this year’s drum majors. Adina Kirkland is the field major.

“The first competition is always stressful,” Ms. Riley said. “We were curious to see how our competitors would perform and if our piece would measure up to the other bands. Despite the heat, our adrenaline kicked in and we delivered a really strong performance. Looking forward to our next competition, I am confident that we will continue to improve and impress!”

An army of enthusiastic parents accompanied the band’s 120 members to Brentwood for last weekend’s competition. “We had a real solid start to the competitive season,” Mr. Stellato said. “The group performed well and the students seem to have a collective understanding of what needs to improve and what it’s going to take to perform a stronger show each and every weekend.”

The Blue Devils will compete next Sunday at Copiague. The band’s home show is set for Sunday, October 1. Bands from across Long Island and the metropolitan area will be performing on the Blue Devil Stadium turf field.

Huntington will also travel to competitions at Walt Whitman, Sachem, Mineola and Arlington in the run-up to the New York State Field Band Conference championships at the Syracuse Carrier Dome on October 29.

“I think the band members have been really pushing themselves in our rehearsals leading up to our first competition,” Ms. Mentor said. “Now that we’ve gotten the chance to see what the band is capable of we are going to be pushing harder than before in our efforts to have the band rise to its full potential.”

The band is already working to sharpen its performance at next weekend’s competition at Copiague. But the musicians and color guard members are also still savoring their victory at Brentwood. “It was a lot of fun and we sounded so good,” junior Katherine DeGennaro said.

The band dedicated the season to Paul Giachetti, the brother of veteran high school music teacher and pep band director/marching band battery instructor Jason Giachetti. Paul Giachetti passed away suddenly during the summer. “We took a moment prior to Sunday’s performance to think of him and Mr. G’s family,” Mr. Stellato said.

first place
The Blue Devil marching band won first place at the Brentwood Invitational. (Darin Reed photo.)
Blue Devil color guard members
Blue Devil color guard members are sensational. (Darin Reed photo.)
Katie Riley
Drum major Katie Riley helps direct the Blue Devil band. (Darin Reed photo.)