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Banded together

Date post:12-Nov-2014
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Milford. Connecticut, High School bands connect a community through volunteer service, lifelong friendships, and the love of a good song.
  • 1. i:i+ t"+J! ,:Ea1jj!l. gltg:.jto$ fii,64ri ir*ri:.r- ri:E l.!:.!ji:;l i.:lr -r,jir.t:i:F- er TT**-*"* #* F#Kffiffi "!t ii !: 6 tr trn 1 E J#Xee{ffim.ffi "q ilffi-vf ffi1tr m htrffl#ffi3 *,c d, ffiffix}.ffi.s tr#xexatrffi & r# ft1xn ia:aitq{ l sk anyone what makes a high school football By Karen Pasacreta game, and you just might be surprised by the answer. Its likely they wont say the sport itself,but all the pomp that celebrates the circumstance. Whats hangs together, Iaughs together, and dancesa half time for anyway? loud music, twirling, peppy together. As the energy heats up with popcheerleaders, a swirling color guard of flags and rifles band LMFAOs "Party Rock" anthem, so doall to get a rowdy crowd even more pumped up to route the kids. The horn section sways back andfor their team. Those football players work hard and forth in unison, a sea of red shirts dressed for the pep rally are shufflin, singing infectiousdeserve lots of credit, but even they feed off " da noize." lyrics, dancing, and having a good old time. Jessica Shearer is all about it, though as "I like the energy," beams Shearer. "It was!orans band director she prefers her noise on almost a miracle." But not quite, as shepitch without ruling out "da fun." "Channel continues to give directions, asking for crisperyour inner goofiness!" she yeils to her band endings until they nail it and get ready tokids as they practice minutes before their "shufJle in" to the gym for the pep rally. Afterseasons first pep rally. After an enthusiastic all, perfectionism does have a place in therenditi.on of the r98os favorite "Safety "pep:Dance," Shearer cant help but get swept up."Perfectl" She sings back. "Im feeling a lot of f; Strive and Thrivelove for you right now." 3 It *rrnt always this way for Shearer. 6 The band has a motto hanging on a felt I B.li.n. it or not there was a time shebanner in the music room: "One band. F neeaea to recruit kids to play in the band. lOne side. One love." Its a band family that 3 "Its definitely been an evolution," she18 Milford Living . Autumn
  • 2. The Law Band marches out for iperformance. - . -i . -,:,rord Lir.ing 1
  • 3. il o z z o o F l oadmits. Shearer started at Foran in zoo4 music, hearing that sweet, sweet note The Foran Band performs in Washington D.C.,rlth only twenty-nine kids. "That first year after mentoring a kid for months to get at the WIVII memorial.scme kids didnt even know how to play an there-and the overwhelming sense of a community partnership comprised of=strument and I worked with them." Nine different because each members interestsrears later, she has grown the program to students, teachers, administrators, and are different. You cater to what you have,sixty-nine kids. Its because band leaders of course, parents. Shearer is actually a he says. A tall, jovial guy whose life is sogrve up countless hours to make their second generation band director. She grew completely woven into Milfords fabric,programs successful. They hold workshops, up in Massachusetts watching her father he knows everyone and knows what itteach kids how to play instruments theyve direct the East Longmeadow High School takes to make his band successful Lawnever heard of, and offer up weeknights band. Its in her blood. mostly focuses on the marching aspectand weekends to get it right. while Forans attention is placed primarily Foran High School principal John Barile A Community Thing on the concert level. Both offer jazz andis quick to point out Shearers dedication. Paul Marino grew up in the Milford concert. And though they may be differentShe can often be found long after the community. He went to Jonathan Law, in style-the two face similar challengesschool day or on weekends, working taught at Law, and has been the band with the ebb and flow of program changes.with students and parents or on her director at Law since r988. Hes seen so "My goal year after to year is to justown preparing for upcoming Iessons many structural changes through the present a balanced program," says Marino.or performances." This is really no big years, from a large jazzhorn ensemble to -I started with sixteen kids. Now there aredeal to band leaders. Its the love ofthe a huge percussion section. Each year is about fifty." There were more, up to ro8, he sa15. 5.,, kids have harder demands now. i: :akes a lot to be a superkid who can do Kids who make up band... every*J-dng. "Somethings got to give." . Participate in sports, clubs, volunteer Have atremendous sense of school spirit work, all in addition to band a Oft en organize band-related activities Unraivering , Are disciplined, passionate, and hard- outside of school (this year Foran it takes a huge level of commitment to working participated in Relay for Life: law Tendto do well in school organized a coat drive for Hurricane cc band, without a doubt. Some of these & Have a sense of pride and camaraderie Sandy victims) irjds are playing sports too, or have a heavy :-omework load, and all add community20 Mllford Living . lIinter
  • 4. ::rvice to the mix. Plus, theres bottle practice? "We just acco

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