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Marching Bucs Prepared to Step Off the New Season

OSWEGO, NY – The phrase “Emily Benigno is your band ready?” will echo from sound systems across Central New York as “The Pride of Oswego,” the Oswego High School Marching Buccaneers take to the field for New York State Field Band Conference competition.

Tom Godfrey, a new member of the Marching Bucs practices during the recent Band Camp
Tom Godfrey, a new member of the Marching Bucs practices during the recent Band Camp

Benigno and more than 100 Oswego High School and Oswego Middle School students have been rehearsing for weeks in preparation for this year’s “Autumnal Metamorphosis.”

On Sept. 10, the Marching Bucs will commence the new season at East Syracuse-Minoa in a year which will see them host their own “Pageant of Champions” on Sept. 24, venture to the Buckeye Invitational at Ohio State University and conclude at the New York State Field Band Conference Championships at the Syracuse University Carrier Dome.

The members of the Marching Bucs, under the direction of Scott Ciesla, have been working diligently as dedicated staff, musicians and color guard have been seen regularly in recent weeks throughout the high school campus.

The annual Band Camp has been completed with the band practicing daily for seven hours.

This year more than 100 students will represent the Oswego City School District and will present a new, dramatic and exciting program.

This year’s production “Autumnal Metamorphosis” is a three part show designed to recreate the visual changes that occur during the fall of each year.

Ciesla noted, “The first day, the Equinox, offers us vibrant greens and feelings of joy that we carry throughout the summer. As autumn approaches we are visually awakened and aware of the breathtaking color changes that surround us in nature and draw upon them like the colors of an artist’s palette. As the leaves change their colors, they will the atmosphere with darker tones as the season draws closer to its conclusion.”

The director then noted, “In the final moments of autumn, the dry brown leaves playfully dance across the ground to become white flakes of snow with the onset of winter solstice.”

Snare drummer seniors Taylor Braun, Jeffrey Murray and Brandon Walker go through their paces as the recent OHS Marching Bucs Band Camp.
Snare drummer seniors Taylor Braun, Jeffrey Murray and Brandon Walker go through their paces as the recent OHS Marching Bucs Band Camp.

The opening piece in this year’s show, “Summer Dances” by Brian Balmages, helps explore the frivolity, joy and exhilaration of the onset of summer. The ballad “The Echo Never Fades” was written by David Gillingham and allows time to recognize the pure colorful beauty, splendor and serenity of autumn. The concluding piece, “Stained Glass” by Gillingham explores the various colors of autumn and ultimately helps realize that the beauty of fall is short-lived with the inevitable transition into winter.

Ciesla noted, “We hope everyone will enjoy our performance and are inspired by the inherent beauty that surrounds us each and every day.”

This year’s soloists include Heather Carapetyan (flute), Gina Bartholomew (mellophone) and Emily King (trumpet).

Looking ahead to the new year, Ciesla said, “I have high hopes. They are doing a really good job so far. I just have a nice bunch of kids, they work hard and probably harder than any group I’ve seen in a while.”

The staff for the 2011 edition of the Oswego High School Marching Buccaneers include Nick Baratta (program coordinator and music and percussion arranger), Rick Morey (drill design), Ryan Bronner (color guard choreography), Shannon Omara, Andrew Buchmann and Bronner (color guard) Michael Tierney, Paul McPherson, Brian Walls and Ali Sivers (marching and maneuvering), Heather Sweeting, Thomas Norton and Bryan Kern (percussion),  James Peer, Stephen Defren and Ciesla (music), Defren, Sweeting, McPherson and Tierney (assistant directors).