Rockville hosts Festival of Bands

By Lisa Stone
Rockville - posted Thu., Oct. 24, 2013
Rockville High School’s band group shot during the Festival of the Bands on Oct. 19. Photo courtesy of Tina Seekins. - Contributed Photo

Rockville High School hosted more than 600 musicians from high schools in Connecticut and Massachusetts at its Oct. 19 Festival of the Bands. Nine bands took the field to perform a total of four songs each in their 15-minute performance slot, to be ranked by judges on best music, best color guard, best percussion, best overall effects and best visual effect.

Rockville High’s band director, Darcy Davis, was running himself ragged trying to make sure that everything was set to go for the competition. But Davis had plenty of help from the pit crew, composed of parents and other volunteers. “There is no way that the bands can set up all of the instruments as well as the props that are going to be used in the competition,” he said. “We would be lost without [the pit crew].”

“We have parents of ex-band members helping out with events like this, even though their children haven’t been in the school for 10 or more years,” said Michael Gruminiak, the festival chairman. He cited as an example Bob Martel, who was in chargeof security. “His kid graduated 12 years ago. We even have alumni that come back to volunteer to help in any way possible,” he said.
Gruminiak said that what draws volunteers back years after theirs kids leave the band is the community’s respect and admiration for Davis, who has served as band director at RHS for 34 years. “He is just the nicest guy you would ever want to meet and he truly does care about the kids,” he said.

Davis also had high priase for the Rockville Band parents, who he said “are just tremendous. They help with sewing, making props and funding trips that the band takes during the year. That can get expensive, since we travel just about every week.”

Rockville’s Booster Club was busy grilling hamburgs and hot dogs to raise money for the band. Inside the school, Sonia Foley supervised a hospitality area set up for the judges, band directors and other staff of visiting bands. Along with more typical food and beverages, this area also featured several types of African themed food, in keeping with RHS’s theme for this year’s event.
Foley said that Rockville High culinary teacher Lori Gillmore and her students contributed the more exotic fare. “They made an African dish called milk tart that is just fantastic,” she said.. “We truly do appreciate their kindness and hard work. We can’t thank them enough.”

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