Steel Valley High School
Marching Band/Stage Band/Jazz Pop Choir
I played snare drum in the High School marching band when I was in 9th grade. If you've ever seen the movie 'Drum Line' I can tell you that I relate to that. Not that we were that good but the commraderie among the drummers was a special thing.
There was Vic Titmus, Stevie Franklin, Doug McFarland, Chuck West, Marshall Hartzell, Mark Revak, Dwayne Gregor, Dennis Issacs, Carmine ?, Nick Tackus and Eugene Stewart. I hope I haven't forgotten anyone.
The 'street beats' that we played were awesome! As a matter of fact I can still play a few of them. The band would play a song and then we would play a street beat so they were our solos.
Whether we were in a parade, a football halftime show or a band competition we would play those beats with pride.
I remember teaching some of the snare players the quick ending to 'Love Gun' by Kiss of the 'Alive II' album. We would use that to warm up the wrists.
The marching band was also the concert band, so we sould play two concerts a year at our high school and vist other schools as well.
Stage band was a subset of the marching band that would play in more of a big band configuration. I was able to play a drum set which was awesome. I also played the guitar in stage band. In fact, Mark Mikula and I both played guitar in stage band. Mark was the other guitar player in my high school rock band 'Zephyr Windz' and he's also in my current band 'Mid Life Crisis'.
The Jazz Pop choir band that I was in backed up the choir in jazz arrangements. This was a subset of the concert choir that would do a little choreography and sound effects. The instructor for this band was an amazing vocalist himself, Dr. A Thomas Caruso.
I look back on these experiences with great memories and am thankful for the experience that I recieved. These bands required the ability to site read, to follow a conductor and to learn various musical styles. All great experience for any musician.