Senior shares 5 years of reflection in the JHS marching band | News, Sports, Jobs


Madeline DeJoy: The Jamestown High School Marching Band facilitated more than a meaningful high school experience; the marching band gave me a sense of identity, memories for a lifetime and even a future career path. Photo submitted

Five years ago I wrote an article titled “Accepted,” where I shared my feelings about joining the Jamestown High School Marching Band as an eighth grader.

Five years later, as a senior, squad leader and soloist, I would like to share my thoughts on this revered organization.

First of all, I have to acknowledge the amazing staff who have made this organization grow. As the saying goes, “it takes a village.” This “take a village” to create such an inclusive and fun environment, one that would not be possible without our Director, Ms. Meghan Murray. Ms. Murray is everything a band member would want in a director – talented, kind, funny, firm – and always there to help and support us in band life and day-to-day life. The same can be said for all of our Directors including Marc Lentsch, Gary Kindberg, Kathy Brunco, Rachel Selice, Rob Meger, Ron Miller, Bob Mongillo, Emma Sage, Kaitlyn Marsh, Chelsea Edsall, Emily Whitney, Breanna Kuhaneck and Carrie Pawalsky. .

I saved to mention for the end the director who influenced me the most, Ms. Gina Wakefield. Over the past eight years, Ms. Wakefield has helped me become the French horn and mellophone player and person I am today. Without her and the other staff, I would not have developed the dedication, sense of responsibility, self-confidence and work ethic that I need in the music world and in everyone’s life. days.

Another group of people that has affected my daily life is student leadership. The Student Leadership Group is made up of students in the group who mentor new members and assist staff as needed. I was the Mellophone Squad Leader for two years and the High Brass Squad Leader for one year. I wouldn’t trade these posts for anything in the world. My fellow executives, Juliana Yanik, Owen Slojkowski, Meghan Mistretta, Greta Nordwall, Liam Conroe, McKenna Schneider, Matthew Ramirez, Evan Corey, Annie Conroe, Elsa Lumia, Alex Genco, Mikeal Halpainy-Livermore, Kenzie Carpenter and Jordyn Christensen are easily some of the best people I know – talented, supportive and genuine. Through this organization, I have found my forever friends, and I couldn’t be more grateful. I would like to pay special tribute to the treble brass section and to my fellow mellophone players. These musicians have been my family this year, and I wouldn’t trade my time with them for the world.

The Jamestown High School Marching Band facilitated more than a meaningful high school experience; the marching band gave me a sense of identity, memories for a lifetime and even a future career path. These five years have made me realize that my future aspirations are based on music, musical education and performance. I will continue to sing and play my French horn, piano, violin and pipe organ at every opportunity. And one day I will be a music teacher who will influence other students, just like my teachers did for me.

I’ve been studying music since I was four and learned from the best – Bill Knight, Dr. Marc Guy, Ron McEntire, Andrew Schmidt, Gail Grundstrom, Catherine-Regis Green, Katherine Derrenbacher, Norm Lydell, Marc Alpaugh , Andrew Coccagnia, Lauren Scharf and Marge Switala – you know what I mean? These talented people, and others, are still part of my village. From a larger perspective, I thank my literal village: the city of Jamestown.

The Jamestown Marching Band is a beloved part of our community, and we’re all working together to create Raider Pride. Thank you to everyone who supports the JHS Red Raider Marching Band, people who donate time and resources, businesses who buy ads, supporters who buy tickets or support our fundraisers. I thank the Community Foundation for providing me and other musicians with music scholarships. With so much community support, this incredible program continues to thrive and will continue to do so with new members and new group leaders. My tenure as a member of the JHS Marching Band is nearly over here, and I will miss it so much.

To anyone considering joining the marching band: do it! As I said five years ago, “Yes, it’s demanding, and yes, it’s exhausting, and yes, it takes time.” But, did I love every minute? Heck, yeah, I have!



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