Checking in with the Panther Marching Band

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Checking in with the Panther Marching Band

Cece Olszewski, Arts and Entertainment Editor

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This past week, over 400 Haven students voluntarily stood in the hot sun for hours, rhythmically stepping to the beat of Uptown Funk and the sound of a woodblock being struck with a drumstick. These students are part of the massive Panther Marching Band, a group constantly proving that it’s still cool to be in band.
Since taking on the position of band director last summer, Mr. Pignataro has continued to introduce new ideas into the band to help boost morale and adjust to new challenges. Some of these ideas include new hashtags to represent the band, such as #do1thing, which encourages band members to focus on improving one specific part of their performance instead of every single move. #Oneband also returned this year, as a reminder that the word “band” represents all of the people involved in the group, not just the instrumentalists.
2018 marked the final season for long-serving Bandfront director Mrs. Fran Vernon and Dance Team instructor Mrs. Mary Hahn. This year, several new directors were brought in to help choreograph and teach routines to the dance line, dance team, and silks. Mrs. Angela Wertner, the new instructor for Danceline, has a long history of directing and choreographing shows for Media, Ritz, Devon, and Little Theatres in addition to Upper Darby Summer Stage, and many local high schools. Ms. Samantha Falzone joins the band as Dance Team Instructor; Ms. Falzone graduated from Haven in 2005 as Danceline Captain. She has extensive experience teaching in Philadelphia and Hawaii as a special education teacher and program coordinator. Mrs. Kelly Caulfield also joins the band as Bandfront director.
During band camp, seniors Carenna Cody, Geraldine Leech, and junior Will Garrett led the group in high energy jazzercise routines as a break from their hard work on the field, and marching basics were done in time with upbeat music blaring through the speakers. All of these innovations made band camp more enjoyable for everyone, despite the heat and the long hours.
The pieces for the first halftime show are “We Found Love” by Rihanna, “Everytime We Touch” by Cascada, and “Take on Me” by A-ha. Look out for the tuba and tenor drum feature in “We Found Love,” the Bandfront feature in “Everytime We Touch,” and the dance break in “Take on Me” when the instrumentalists drop their instruments on the field and dance while the drumline plays.
The Panther Marching Band successfully performed their first halftime show on Thursday night, kicking off a new season that is not to be missed.