Baldwinsville Marching Band sweeps competitions with tribute to vets
Today marks the 68th anniversary of the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
While Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day was held this past Monday, the Baldwinsville Marching Band has honored those lost during the tragic event, as well as all members of the United States armed forces, with their moving show, titled "Pearl Harbor: December 7, 1941," since the beginning of this school year.
Using elements of music from composers Jay Bocook and Steven Reineke, the show depicted the tragic attack on Pearl Harbor recreating the peace the day began with, the horrific attack, the mournful aftermath and finally the enduring courage and resolve of the American spirit.
Marching Band Director Casey Vanderstouw, who began at Baldwinsville Aug. 1, said he always wanted to perform a show dedicated to the armed services because many of his family members served, both past and present. With approximately 100 students in eighth through 12th grade in the band, he said dedication was mandatory and practices were grueling. Members practiced two to three nights a week plus Saturdays for three hours each, including the month of August.
"This task was both very exciting and daunting. To depict a story as important as the Pearl Harbor attack required a massive amount of work and an absolute belief on the part of every band member in what we were trying to achieve," Vanderstouw said. "In the end, the kids bought into the concept and we were very successful. It was by far and away my favorite marching band show to date. I can't tell you how proud I am of these students."
Their hard work paid off with an undefeated season and first place in all competitions, not to mention winning the 2009 Large School 2 Class Championships at the 36th Annual New York State Field Band Conference Championship Show in November at the Carrier Dome.