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A big extended family. An opportunity to play music. And the chance to work hard and have some fun at the same time. This how most of the 90 members of the Hollywood Hills High School Marching Band would describe their experiences in the band.
They love to perform at Hollywood Hills home football games and during pep rallies. And they enjoy participating in contests and traveling to other cities to perform in parades.
Emily Piccirillo, a junior, plays the clarinet and is captain of the wood winds in the band. She has been involved in band since middle school. “Band is fun and it has helped me in high school by keeping me motivated. It is a life changing experience,” she said. “We are a big family.”
Melissa Monge, also plays the clarinet. “Our band helps with school spirit. It is fun to be in band and I love performing the clarinet at football games and pep rallies. I have met a lot of nice people in this band,” she said.
Being in the marching band means long and hard practices after school. It means practicing marching in hot weather and working to make sure a show is perfect. But the reward is being able to perform a good show and making good friends.
Brandon Ortiz plays the tuba in the Hollywood Hills band. He is band captain for the brass section. “I love being in band and it is fun to perform at football games and contests. It is exciting and I always have fun. We help each other all the time,” said Ortiz.
Natasha Gurdyal, is one of the Hollywood Hills drum majors. She also plays percussion. “When you are in band, you are in your own world. It is fun to make music. We are family. I love to perform at football games,” she said.
Jeffrey L. Lawson is the new Hollywood Hills band director and conductor. He came from a school in Miami-Dade. He love the close atmosphere of the band. “We are a family. The kids really care about each other. I am excited about this band and think we will do well this year. The band program is a tradition at Hollywood Hills,” he said.
The Hollywood Hills band will perform at local competitions this fall. It will perform at home football games, school pep rallies and in parades. In addition to the marching band, there is the wind ensemble for the more talented and experienced students and the symphonic band for those who are developing their skills. There is also a jazz orchestra. There are many opportunities for musicians at Hollywood Hills High School. And the band program offers a positive and friendly environment for students.
Jeffrey L. Lawson