Junior Michael Reed is one of the band's exceptional musicians. (Darin Reed photo.)

Huntington Blue Devil Band Marches On

Junior Michael Reed is one of the band's exceptional musicians. (Darin Reed photo.)

October 12, 2018

The Huntington High School Blue Devil marching band is in the midst of another stellar campaign. The group has been notching season-high scores at a string of consecutive competitions, with most resulting in a first place finish.

The Blue Devils are led by drum majors Katie Riley, Mathew Hearl and Jennifer Low and field major James Obermaier. This year’s field show is titled The Power Within.

Huntington has competitions remaining at Sachem and Mineola. The band will also be marching in the Homecoming Day parade on Saturday, October 20 and will perform at halftime of the varsity football game that same day. The New York State Field Band Conference championships are set for Saturday-Sunday, October 27-28 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

“This season has been going well,” Ms. Low said. “Everyone in the band is working very hard to make this show the best it can be and so far we have been able to put together an amazing show. We are all looking forward to competing at Syracuse in the upcoming weeks and hope to do our best.”

Jennifer Schmelter and Patrick Neary are the band’s co-directors. Rich Guillen is the music arranger. Jason Giachetti is handling percussion arrangements and the battery and pit designs. George Nelson is in charge of drill design. Mallory Martilla and Patrick Neary are handling the color guard design. The battery instructors are Sudwip Debnath, Derek Schmelter and Jarod Sullivan. Chris Wink is the brass instructor. Mallory Martilla is the color guard’s instructor. Corina Antonucci and Sean Lucas are pit instructors. Sudwip Debnath, Dan DeOliveira and Jarod Sullivan are visual instructors. Katherine Adams is the band’s woodwind instructor. Brian Stellato is also serving as an instructor as well as the band’s coordinator.

“We are more than halfway through our season and continue to make great strides in our performances,” Ms. Riley said. “Looking forward to the state competition at Syracuse, we are amongst a very competitive group of bands. Nevertheless, I’m confident that we will impress the judges and strongly represent Huntington High School. Go Blue Devils!”

Everyone associated with the band is focused on helping the group finished on a high note this fall. “So far so good,” said Mr. Obermaier about the season. “We’re in a very great position and I’d be willing to say that this is one of the strongest groups I’ve been a part of in all my years with this activity. Everyone is pushing really hard to get to where they want to be. Every time we run through our show it only improves. As for the rest of the season, expect great things.”

Everyone associated with the band is pulling even more closely together to make the last three weeks of the competitive season something special.

“So far the group has been moving forward at a nice pace, even with setbacks such as poor weather during many rehearsals,” Mr. Hearl said. “I’m looking forward to seeing where these last few weeks of the season take us, as our show has so much more potential and exciting additions to come.”

Huntington band dates to 1934

Huntington High School music teacher James Cloyd Doty organized the first band in 1934. It was open to boys and girls in all four classes, according to the 1936 edition of The Huntingtonian, the high school yearbook. “Although newly organized, this group has worked very hard and with the cooperation of the student body, the band members have received blue and white uniforms,” states the yearbook. “They gave a new feeling of school spirit to all of the occasions at which they appeared this year.”

Blue Devil field major Mathew Hearl salutes. (Darin Reed photo.)
Blue Devil field major Mathew Hearl salutes. (Darin Reed photo.)
The Huntington Blue Devil marching band's color guard is a highly regarded unit. (Darin Reed photo.)
The Huntington Blue Devil marching band's color guard is a highly regarded unit. (Darin Reed photo.)
Senior Katherine DeGennaro on keyboard for the Blue Devil band. (Darin Reed photo.)
Senior Katherine DeGennaro on keyboard for the Blue Devil band. (Darin Reed photo.)
The Huntington High School marching band dates its origins to 1934. (Darin Reed photo (1)
The Huntington High School marching band dates its origins to 1934. (Darin Reed photo)
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