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Changes in this year's Marching Band

Errol+Chandersin+watching+the+football+game+during+the+first+quarter.
Errol Chandersin watching the football game during the first quarter.

Errol Chandersin watching the football game during the first quarter.

Jasmine Boyens

Jasmine Boyens

Errol Chandersin watching the football game during the first quarter.

Jasmine Boyens, Editor in Chief

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Jasmine Boyens
New band director, Jamie Lundi, watching the football game in between songs.

 

A gold sheet of light falls onto their faces and a glow bounces off the brass and silver instruments. There are times of still silence, but at the command of the director, music begins to challenge the chit chat in the bleachers. With every beat of a drum and breath before a note, they work as a team. Their music unites.

A new band director introduced the Pioneer Marching Band to a new style this summer. Just days before the anticipated start of Band Camp, word spread about the newly hired band director, Jamie Lundi. Last year’s band director, Jose Fernandez, left for unknown reasons and it may have been an emotional tear for some band students last year.

Lundi, a graduate of Orange County schools, likely will connect well with students at Oak Ridge. During high school, he participated in both the Meadowbrooks and Evans marching bands. The band director is one of four siblings. Lundi’s older brothers were in band before him, and they contributed to his upbringing in music.

 

Lundi started on baritone and trombone but, when he went to college with a scholarship for band, he took on the tuba. He graduated in 2017 from Bethune-Cookman University in Daytona Beach with a masters in Music Education.

Lundi learned about an opening at Oak Ridge. The news brought excitement and anticipation.

“I always wanted to come back to Orange County because this is my roots and I wanted to let [students in band] know that they can do exactly what I did,” says Lundi, who goes on to explain that there are opportunities for students to get scholarships for band even if they are not majoring in it.  

Being from a familiar and common area for students attending Oak Ridge, Lundi can better communicate with students. He feels that students should be able to come to him, not just as their teacher, but as a mentor and someone to prove that they can do something with their passion for music.

“The band director is really nice. He’s funny. He’s fun, [and] he’s really welcoming. He’s all about that family thing, which is what we do here,” said Samantha Ventucci, the band’s drum major.

During band camp, officers and other students got a feel for the new music Lundi brought to the band.

“We were hoping for a show band director and fortunately that’s what we got, so we’re happy about that,” said Larry Williams, a sophomore who plays second snare.

 

Errol Chandersin watching the football game during the first quarter.

Now that band students are more comfortable with the new genre, especially since many did not know that they had become a show band, the summer camp gave officers a chance to understand the new music before working with other students in marching band.

The marching band’s new musical style has changed from last year’s more classical and romantic music to a modern, upbeat style that may be more familiar to students.

“It was mainly 20th Century music that was being played, and now we’re going into the 21st Century with more popular songs, more songs that students can actually hear and say, ‘I know that song,’ versus playing [something like] Bach,” Lundi explained.

The new style will be more student-oriented. It will be music that a lot of students at Oak Ridge like to hear, Lundi said.

“They will be able to listen to the band and actually relate to the band. They’ll know what we’re playing, and that’s a big difference,” he added.

“I feel that it appeals more to the type of area we’re in and now it’s more interesting to the students. It’s gonna be really fun, really up-beat, it’s gonna be lit. Everyone should come and join,“ said Venetucci.

The band students say with much confidence that marching band will be a step up from last year and that everyone should be able to come out and enjoy the music without disappointment. The marching band plays at every football game this season.

 

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The student news site of Oak Ridge High School
New Director, New Style