NHS Band & Guard Preparing For Annual Grasso Festival

Since midsummer, Newtown High School Marching Band and Color Guard members have been busy preparing for this year’s competitions and shows, including the upcoming annual home show, set for Saturday, October 5.

 Looking at the season, with rehearsals and competitions already scheduled, NHS Band Director Kurt Eckhardt said this week that he is “looking forward to seeing this band continue to grow.”

The strongest senior class he has ever seen in his years of teaching graduated last year, Mr Eckhardt said. That left 40 open spots, but Mr Eckhardt said new band members filled the spaces perfectly.

The current band is the most “hardworking, most motivated band I have ever had,” said Mr Eckhardt.


The Start Of The Season

In the first competition of the 2013 season, according to parent Robbin Chaber Allen, the 123 members of the Newtown Marching Band and Guard took home the first place trophy in a National Class competition with a score of 70.6, more than two points greater than the nearest competitor, New Milford High School, on Saturday, September 21.

The competition was a USBands circuit event held at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, and debuted Newtown’s show “Atlantida,” a four-part story of the fall and subsequent rebirth of Atlantis.

“This is going to be a terrific season,” Mr Eckhardt said, as reported by Ms Chaber Allen. “The show is already so strong for only being September 22, and it will become even more and more exciting as we get more time on the field, and add props and more movement.”

Mr Eckhardt also said he is, “impressed with the leadership of his seasoned veterans, as well as the poise and focus of the band and guard members who are new to Fall Marching Band and Guard this year.”


The Joseph P. Grasso Festival

After summer rehearsals, performances in Newtown’s Labor Day Parade and at the Newtown Arts Festival, the band and color guard are set for the upcoming season.

This Saturday, September 29, Newtown will compete at Trumbull High School in a Musical Arts Conference (MAC) competition.

The following Saturday, October 5, the NHS Marching Band and Color Guard will host the annual Joseph P. Grasso Festival. The event will be held at the Blue & Gold Stadium, and will run from 6 pm to 9 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and children 5 and under are free.

According to Mr Eckhardt, eight bands will compete in this year’s festival.

“These are some great bands,” said Mr Eckhardt, explaining that the three top bands in the state will be participating — Norwalk, Trumbull, and Newtown.

People attending, Mr Eckhardt said, “are going to see kids doing amazing things.”

Other competitions for the band and color guard are scheduled until the second Saturday in November.

From October 11 to 13 the band and guard will travel to Philadelphia to compete for the USBands Regional Freedom Cup.

On Saturday, October 19, the band and guard will be at Shelton High School for a MAC Competition.

A USBands New England States Championships competition is set to be held at Bridgeport’s John F. Kennedy Stadium on October 26.

The following Saturday, November 2, the band and guard will first compete at Norwalk High School for a MAC competition, then head over to Rutherford, N.J., for a USBands National Championship at MetLife Stadium.

On November 9 the band and guard will be at the John F. Kennedy Stadium for the MAC Championships, before finishing the season with a Band Banquet scheduled for November 11. 

Further information about the band and its season schedule are available on its website, www.newtownband-guard.com/home.html.

More stories like this: Newtown High School, NHS, color guard, Marching Band
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