The Huntington Blue Devil marching band capped off its competitive season with a second place finish at the New York State Field Band Conference Championships at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse last weekend.
“Competing at the state competition represented the end of a journey,” drum major Katie Riley said. “Similar to the theme of our piece, HBDMB went into Syracuse facing challenges, but ultimately prevailed. Without a doubt, each and every band member left their heart and soul on the field and it showed. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to represent HBDMB for the past five years and will miss performing. Always, ‘Eyes with Pride!’”
Drum major Mathew Hearl salutes the crowd and judges following the band's performance. (Darin Reed photo.)
Huntington competed in the Large School 2 class division along with bands representing Sachem, West Seneca, Lindenhurst, Jamestown, Webster, Orchard Park, Corning-Painted Post, Horseheads and Kingston high schools. Perennial state and national power Jamestown captured first place honors.
Band members were happy to finish near the top of the state. “I’m so incredibly proud of the band and the band truly deserves it,” drum major Jennifer Low said. “All of our hard work and long hours spent at practice reflected in our performance. “I couldn’t be happier without how we did!”
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.
“I’m so proud of how far the band has come throughout the past few months,” drum major Mathew Hearl said. “It’s been a pleasure to lead this group of fantastic individuals and conclude the season with such a high level of achievement.”
Senior Christiana DeLuca was thrilled that the season concluded on such a positive note. “We are so happy with how the show went,” she said. “It was truly the best performance we had all season and that is all we can ask for.”