BY Dan Wood
In recent years, The Sacred Heart Band has performed at football, basketball and hockey games. However, they have not always performed at all of these events.
For 17 years, the band has been conducted by Keith Johnston.
“When the band first started, they didn’t march. They were a small pep band in the stands for football games and then started doing a few basketball and hockey games a few years later,” said Johnston.
Currently, the band has grown to over 160 members and now regularly plays at basketball, hockey and football games. They also have a concert band, winter guard, heartbeat percussion, multiple small ensembles, and an orchestra with a full brass and percussion sections.
“The marching band does home football games, a couple of high school marching band exhibitions, and the New York City Columbus Day parade,” said Johnston. “The band plays in the stands during the game and performs their show during half time. Also, they perform the national anthem and a few songs in the beginning of the game.”
The pep band also performs at home hockey games, men’s and women’s basketball games and will travel during the playoff season. They have traveled to places such as Massachusetts for basketball and Washington, D.C., for hockey.
The group also performs numerous concerts during each semester.
“We put on a Halloween concert, a December concert and a spring concert throughout the year,” said Johnston.
Each year, the Pep band picks a theme to perform their halftime show around. This year, they chose a show that is based on 80’s pop songs, performing it at all home football games.
Songs include: “Africa,” “Footloose,” “True Colors,” “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and several other 80’s pop music. They also do a dance during “Footloose,” closing the song.
Members of the band enjoy their theme this year and look forward to their performance each time.
“I love the songs, I love doing the dance to ‘Footloose,’ and I am excited to do more performances,” said sophomore flute player Meghan Young.
To prepare for this show, the band came a week early to school for band camp. They had practices Monday and Thursday from 7:45 to 10:00 at night.
“The practices are late and tiring but are a good addition to the day and are worth the end result,” said sophomore French horn player Stephanie Pixley.
The band rehearsed from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. during the week before school started. The day practices consisted of practicing marching and their music and putting the two together.
During the school year, the band will rehearse concert music on Mondays and marching band and pep band on Thursdays. The pep band performs songs such as “Centuries” and “Seven Nation Army” during basketball, hockey, and football games.
The band consists of several members, many of them coming from different levels of experience and having different reasons for participating in the band.
“Being in the Sacred Heart band has given me a new way to look at music. My past experiences have been different, and I really enjoy the change of pace,” said Pixley.
“I did band in high school and I wanted to continue in college. My high school band was competitive, and this is a much more relaxed band,” said sophomore bass clarinet player Julianne D’Amico.
The band also performs in many other events. They traveled to New York, Disney World and Ireland.
“I really enjoyed traveling with the band to Disney. Being able to perform in the parks was a great opportunity and I enjoyed going with people I have spent so many hours practicing with,” said D’Amico.
“I enjoyed playing for the Yale hockey team. Yale’s band was not available, so they asked us to sub in. It was strange performing for a different school, but it was a memorable experience,” said Meghan Young.
Staff writer Dan Wood is a member of the band and plays trumpet.