by Joe Cook
Although the first public exposure for most of the school’s bands will be at the upcoming Thanksgiving prayer service, members of each group have been practicing and performing since the school year started.
The Jazz Lab Band’s members include seniors Michael Kafoglis, Bob Forzano, juniors Mitchell Blowey, Leon Coe, AJ Motte, and sophomores Phil Alani, Grant Hopkins and Robert Somma.
“We played at the St. Thomas More Octoberfest,” Kafoglis said. “We played a mixture of jazz, funk and soul.”
Jazz Combo is composed of seniors Derrick Gelino, Alex Hall, Leo Linbeck, Chris Garza and sophomore Darryl Maniego. Jazz Combo is different from Lab in that to join Combo one must go through a more strenuous process.
“Combo is considred the better of the two jazz bands,” Kafoglis said. “Both bands work extremely hard, but [Combo members] go through a second try out, play in more gigs and usually have harder songs.”
“We are considered the ‘cream of the crop,” Gelino said.
Recently, Combo has performed in a multitude of places.
“We’ve played at Minute Maid Park for a down syndrome fundraiser, the Holy Ghost bazaar, St. Thomas More’s bazaar, the Holly Hall Retirement Center for retired preists, the St. Thomas auction, reunion weekend, the Archdiocesican Christmas party and the Bishop Rizzotto Golf Classic,” Gelino said. “We will be playing at Round-Up as well as Open House during the spring.”
Both Jazz bands play not only the normal jazz, but funk, soul and many other types of music.
In preparation for the Thanksgiving prayer service, the Combo band plans to play some modern, up-to-date music as well.
“We’re planning to play a song by Bill Watrous and the Manhattan Wildlife Refuge and a song by the Strokes for Hot Art Cool Jazz,” Gelino said.
The marching band, in which Gelino serves as drum major, has performed a wide range music during their halftime shows this year.
Their shows included a Super Mario themed performance.
“My focus was to try and make the best out of my last year and come up with some creative shows that would actually catch the audience’s attention,” Gelino said. “Some of my favorite memories are definitely of the Mario show at the Pius home game.”
Gelino also said that there was more to his role as drum major than just the music.
“I built all the props myself for the Pius game,” Gelino said. “The mushrooms, the pipes, I put time into all of that.”
For the upcoming Thanksgiving prayer service, all parts of the music department have been hard at work.
After the prayer service, bands have Open House and eventually TAPPS competitions, looking ahead to what will surely be another successful year for the music department.