When school started this year at Leavitt, most students came in wearing their new back-to-school outfits and being nervous about finding someone to sit with at lunch, but not the marching band. The band had already spent a week at the school and on the field, nailing 43 pages of drill and memorizing four songs, as well as learning and perfecting all the basics of marching and performing. Having already compared schedules and summertime memories, everyone came to school breathing a little easier, especially the freshman.

The marching band is designed as a student-led activity. The staff puts a drum major up on a podium and with the help of her assistant and critiquing staff, practice goes smoothly. This year’s drum major is senior Bethany Asquith with her trusty assistant, junior Danielle Sabine. The two are not entrusted with the band without any training, though. No, the girls put in a hard weeks worth of work at the Drum Major Academy in Amherst, Massachusetts. The sixteen hour days that prepared them for the task included critiquing video tapes of their conducting, technique perfection, and even competitions in leading and commanding a squad. All of this training is put to work every rehearsal in order to make magic happen.

Bethany and Danielle have all of the help and support of Leavitt’s largest Marching Band Staff to help them with this huge task. William Buzza is the Band Director. He organizes all of the events the band is involved in and directs the rest of the staff on what to do. He has quite a staff to look after, too. Drill writer Bill Hunt and USM music majors Jim Raymond (assistant director), Meghan Connell, and Dan Fijalkowski join Bethany and color guard instructor Mandy Stafford in watching, critiquing, and setting every picture.

The music students, staff, and faithful parents of Leavitt Area High School are gearing up for the main event of the season. This year, Leavitt is hosting a Marching Band Show on October 5, 2002 at Libby Football Field in Turner Center. The evening will start at 6:00 p.m. with the Tripp Middle School Band performing the national anthem. The evening will feature performances by seven of the finest marching bands in the state. High school bands performing during the show include Lewiston, South Portland, Edward Little, Old Orchard Beach, Marshwood, Lawrence, and Leavitt. Admission price is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for students & senior citizens; with a family price of $15.

This year, Leavitt will be performing a show with Caribbean-style music, aptly called “Caribbean Conga.” Leavitt has a history of wowing its audience with fun, out-of-the-box surprises and this year is no different. The audience will get to see a conga dance, a variety of nautical elements, and maybe even a few other surprises that bring the excitement of the music to life.

During each band’s performance, a panel of eight judges will make comments and rate the band on certain musical and visual criteria. Judges on the field and up in the box will watch the band not only for mistakes, but for the general effect and entertainment of the show.

The marching band show hosted in Turner is part of the marching band season sponsored by the Maine Band Directors Association, Inc., which culminates in a show at Sanford High School on November 2.

For more information about the marching band show at Leavitt Area High School, please call 225-4371.

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