Graduations, birthday parties, grand openings—they all bring people together. But is there anything more welcoming than great music and a warm evening?
More than a thousand parents, musicians and community members from all six district schools packed the bleachers of Port Chester High School’s Ryan Stadium last night for the district’s 67th Annual Band Night.
And with clear skies, warm temperatures and familiar tunes, the spring night felt like a summer concert.
“We look forward to this event every year—the music is just so great at the Port Chester schools,” said Tanya Sallo of Rye Brook.
Band directors picked well-known tracks, including many classics.
For example, the combined fourth and fifth grade bands from Park Avenue, King Street, Edison and John F. Kennedy Magnet elementary schools played concert band renditions of the classic Beatles song,’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” as well as “Hit the Road Jack.”
And like any live show, the night was not without a few pre-show jitters from its performers.
“I normally get nervous in front of large crowds but tonight we were all almost laughing when everyone clapped,” joked seventh-grader Emily Hewitt.
Hewitt, along with the rest of the band, took the stage wearing sashes with “PCMS” scrawled across the front as they performed a musical tribute to Neil Diamond.
So with classic dance tracks like “Sweet Caroline” on the menu, audiences were able to clap their hands and sing along.
“I like songs [like Sweet Caroline] that have a lot of movement and playing fast,” added Port Chester Middle School student Jessica Watson.
Also for the younger set, a closing tribute by the instruments of Port Chester High School may have proved to be inspirational.
The high school band later closed the show with a reprisal of its 2011-2012 show, “Heroes Fallen, Not Forgotten” and a fireworks display.
The event was also a fund-raiser, with sales of hot dogs and hamburgers going to a fund for band trips and other expenses associated with the band and music department.
"It's nice to know [proceeds] will go towards helping out the local music," said Sallo.
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