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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The FHC’s annual Bandtasia performance is not something you want to miss

Everyone should attend FHC marching band’s Bandtasia concert on October 25.

In many shows set in high school and coming-of-age movies, senior year is portrayed as one of the most nostalgic times of the characters’ lives. Senior Gia Monterusso is no exception to this theme; in fact, she has even more reason than most to feel this way. 

As someone who has been part of the high school marching band for four years, not to mention the middle school band before that, Gia knows one of the things she will miss most when she’s no longer part of the FHC Marching Band is Bandtasia.

“I’m so excited [for Bandtaisa] this year,” Gia said. “It’s the last Bandtasia for all of the seniors—including me—and it’s going to be so much fun. I know it’s going to be the best one we’ve had since I’ve been in the band. There’s definitely some sadness going into it, knowing that it’s the last time my classmates and I will get to perform a Bandtasia concert, but I think that’s one of the reasons it’s going to be so good this year.”

There’s definitely some sadness going into it knowing that it’s the last time my classmates and I will get to perform a Bandtasia concert, but I think that’s one of the reasons it’s going to be so good this year.

— Gia Monterusso

Gia has been with the marching band through many ups and downs. From her favorite performances to ones where she wished she had done something different, the marching band community is one that Gia has always had in her corner.

When the previous beloved band director announced that she wouldn’t be returning in the next school year, Gia, along with the rest of her classmates, knew that having a new leader for the band would take some getting used to.

Luckily, Marching Band director Joel Burns is the perfect fit for the band and exactly what they needed to have their best marching season yet. 

“Mr. Burns is doing a really good job. He is fantastic, he’s making a lot of really good changes to the program, and he’s got some really good ideas for Bandtasia,” Gia said. “Overall, [Bandtasia] is going to be pretty similar to how it’s been in the past, but I think that it’s going to be well put together and very cohesive in a way that it hasn’t been quite as much in the past.”

While Gia is a senior and has experienced many changes within the band, there are some students who have not. One person who did not feel the effects of the change in band directors so severely is freshman Aiden Verwolf.

“I’ve learned a lot of the traditions that the marching band has gained over the years,” Aiden said. “I don’t really understand a lot of them completely since I’m so new to the high school band, but it was really interesting to see Mr. Burns interact with all of us and our traditions. He worked around certain things that lots of students wanted to preserve, and he also added in his own ideas and creativity to help the band.”

Even though this is Aiden’s first year as part of the FHC Marching Band, he has been experiencing band long before then.

He was in both the sixth grade and middle school bands and has not only watched the high school band perform multiple times, but he has also occasionally played alongside them.

It was these experiences with the band, before he even joined it, that led to Aiden wanting to become part of the band. Aiden has been looking forward to Bandtasia since he first joined the band at band camp in July, and he can’t wait to be a part of the group he has found inspiration in for years.

“I’m honestly just super excited to show everyone what we’ve been working on and all of our hard work,” Aiden said. “I’ve seen a few of the Bandtasias in the past, and I’ve always been impressed; they’ve always looked super cool, so I’m incredibly excited to finally get to actually be a part of one.”

Aiden was inspired by the high school marching band when he was still a middle schooler, and now he has the opportunity to carry on that legacy and inspire others to pursue their musical passions. 

However, Aiden is not the only person associated with the band who has inspired others through their music. Burns had an experience growing up in his own band that is very similar to what Aiden hopes to be able to achieve. 

“[My high school band] did something similar to Bandtasia,” Burns said. “We played for the grown-ups and the eighth graders, but it was mainly just an eighth-grade event, to kind of introduce them to band. We played for the eighth graders and their family members if they wanted to come, but we never did anything as big as Bandtasia.”

Burns has been part of marching bands for longer than anyone else in the FHC Marching Band, and he thinks that utilizing his experience as a student has been one of the major reasons he fits so well into the FHC band environment.

Burns has connected with his students on a deeper level because he was once in their shoes. One of the things that he finds most interesting about his job, however, is getting to view the band from the perspective of a teacher instead of a student.

Burns used his own experience as a band student to help shape his plan for preparing for Bandtasia.

“We’ve been doing lots of rehearsals during our first-hour wind ensemble class as well as after-school rehearsals. We rehearse seven to nine o’clock a couple of times a week to prepare for it. We also have a dress rehearsal next week. So [there has been] lots of preparation musically to make sure that we are polished and fine-tuned for our performance.”

The FHC Marching Band has been working for countless hours on this performance, and it’s important for other members of the school to go out and support their peers as they participate in one of their favorite activities.

Although they have differing perspectives and experiences with Bandtasia, it is indescribably important to Gia, Aiden, and Burns, and the three of them all hope to have an enraptured and engaged audience listening to them perform. 

“[Bandtasia] is so much fun for the audience,” Gia said. “Everyone gets to see the marching band at football games, but being able to see a completely different perspective of it, and being able to actually hear what’s going on in the music and watch everyone have fun marching down the aisles and seeing the trombone guillotines close up is so, so cool. It’s very different from a football game.”

Aiden also agrees that Bandtasia is not just a performance for the band, but also for the people watching.

“People should come to Bandtasia because it’s a great experience for both the band and the audience,” Aiden said. “It’s not like anything else you’ll get to see from the band or really much else in general. You’ll get to see all the cool songs we’ve been working on and some really interesting marching things like walking up the aisles and coming in through the doors.”

As the director of the band, and a brand new one at that, Burns is feeling some pressure regarding the band’s performance on Wednesday, but more than that, he’s excited.

Burns can’t wait for even more people to get to experience the hard work and dedication of his students close up, in an even more interesting and fun way.

“People should go to Bandtasia to check out the awesome bands, drumline, and jazz band,” Burns said. “If you want to see what our students have been hard at work at since all the way back in band camp in July, definitely come and check it out. It’s a great culmination event for the marching band. It really is a showcase to show how great these students are, how hard they work, and really just to showcase their passions.”

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About the Contributor
Evelyn Alt, Copy Editor
Evelyn is a sophomore entering her second year on The Central Trend. Outside of school, she enjoys reading and hanging out with her friends. Her other interests include playing with her cat, Minerva, and going to Barnes and Noble with her sister, Millie. She is excited for another year writing on The Central Trend staff and looking forward to everything in her future. Favorite color: red Favorite food: anything chocolate Favorite season: Summer Favorite books: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio  

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