Jackson Liberty band ready for busy year

JACKSON — The Jackson Liberty High School Marching Band recently wrapped up its two-week band camp with high expectations for the upcoming season. This year’s show is themed “Fantasia,” with the musical selections from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 – Movement 1, “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” and “The Firebird Suite.”

The marching band currently stands at 89 members, which includes the color guard and their musician counterparts.

Margaret Harris, the color guard adviser, said, “The band and color guard completed a successful band camp because we worked hard, efforts were made to keep morale very high and we enjoyed ourselves. The show is a lot of fun, as is the music. The guard is looking forward to an enjoyable and productive season.”

The color guard adds visual effects to the music and marching being performed on the field. This year’s leadership positions include rifle lead, Courtenay Bailey; sabre lead, Samantha Ikola; and section leaders, Christine Connery, Harlea Randolph and Stacey Reed.

The marching unit itself is being led by drum majors James Banister and Jess Gouker. Leadership positions in the musician ranks include marching captains Jaclyn Martin, Westley Russel and James Lee.

This season’s drum captain is Vincenza Della Donna. Section leaders include Alexia Polachek, Emily Kahlert, Rebecca Rocha, Gary Basko, Jacklyn Martin, David Reiter, Jacki Tate, Westley Russell, Christian Della Donna, Rich Thomas, Kendall Hageman, Josh Gonzalez, John Wall and Jim Weeden.

At the end of band camp, assistant band director Michael Carattini said, “I am so proud of how hard the students are working so far this year. We have a great show and I know they will give each performance 100 percent.”

Scott Katona, director of the Jackson Liberty Marching Band, said, “I was very proud of the hard work and effort the students, parents and staff displayed during band camp, which happened to be the hottest two weeks of the summer. I am looking forward to another award-winning season and wish everyone the best of luck throughout.”

The competitive marching season will begin on Sept. 12 when the band travels to Manchester High School. The marching band will also accompany the Lions football team on its quest for a successful season.

The Jackson Day Parade will feature the Liberty Lions Marching Band as well. The group will participate in a number of local high school competitions this fall, culminating in the USSBA Yamaha Cup, a competition held at Giants Stadium. This year’s event holds special meaning for the students because it will be the last marching event of its kind ever held in Giants Stadium, which is being replaced by a new stadium being built by the New York Giants and the New York Jets.

The Liberty Band Parents and Students Association announced that they have been asked by the USSBA to host its annual Mid- Season Showcase marching competition on Oct. 11 at the high school.

There are currently 16 high school bands from all over the state scheduled to appear at the event. The Liberty Band Parents thanked the Jackson Board of Education, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Gialanella, the Jackson Liberty Marching Band staff and the residents of Jackson for their support of the students.