The Big Blue Band Marches Among Thousands at Gillette
Below is a Q&A with Swampscott Band Director Scott Winship on his band's experience at UMass Band Day held on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
Here are the questions we posed to Scott:
1) Where, when and how many musicians were on the field?
2) What did you play?
3) How did it go, how do you pull this off, playing with so many musicians?
4) How did this benefit the Swampscott High band program?
Here is Scott's response:
This past Saturday the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band hosted the 28th annual UMass Band Day. This annual event brings together dozens of high school bands for a day of rehearsal and a thrilling joint halftime performance with the UMass marching band. Not only is this great fun for all participants, it offers high school musicians a glimpse of what it is like performing in front of a college audience.
This year Band Day was held at Gillette Stadium, home of the New England Patriots! This year's musical selection is a medley from the Disney movie, The Lion King. This year 55 high school marching bands participated with nearly 3,000 students on the field at the same time!
The day began with a 3 hour rehearsal inside the stadium with the UMass band. The students then went to the bus to each a late lunch and change into their uniforms. The students sat in the north end zone seats for the first quarter of the football game before moving to their half-time staging area at the start of the 2nd quarter.
Following the half-time performance the students returned to the stands for the remainder of the game. Following the game we moved to the home side of the field for a fireworks show and a special post-game performance by UMass Minuteman Marching Band.
This awesome opportunity allowed members of the Big Blue Marching Band to see what other high schools are doing, get mentored by college age students and experience being able to perform for a crowd of 20,000 college football fans. This was also a very important experience in the continued development of our young musicians as they were able to watch and listen to one of the finest college marching bands in the country and recognize what they could potentially sound like with the proper support, practice and experience.