The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

The news site of Ludlow High School

The Cub

LHS Band performs multiple concerts

LHS+Band+performs+multiple+concerts

The LHS band at Ludlow High School has been under band Director Kevin McAvoy since December of 2008. For the past 16 years, Mr. McAvoy has been conducting the band and has made strong connections with every student he has taught. 

Over the past three years, the LHS band has performed at MICCA, a music festival consisting of many different schools across Western Mass, placing silver twice and bronze once. 

The band holds three concerts every year; the Halloween Band Bash, which includes the middle school bands as well; the winter concert where they perform holiday songs; and the spring concert, which showcases songs performed at MICCA in addition to some other pieces. 

The band’s other duties, outside of their concerts, includes playing all the music at the LHS Graduation, performing in the Memorial Day Parade, playing at home football games and the Thanksgiving halftime. On top of all that, many of the band’s members also perform in other ensembles outside of school. 

From left to right: sophomores Marcelina Pecak, Ashlyn Mortimer, Emily Pereira, Natalia Houlihan, Audrey Troie, Faith Keroack, and Amanda Miller.

Overall, they are a well-rounded group of musically talented individuals representing the music and arts programs for our schools incredibly well. 

However, this year has been a rocky year for the band. After losing thirteen seniors last year, the band is “definitely in a sort of ‘rebuilding’ situation” according to Band Director Kevin McAvoy. 

With the loss of so many seniors, most band members turn to the middle school to strengthen their ranks. “ The LHS music program relies heavily on the Middle School program to keep our numbers strong.  We really needed a strong freshman class…”  McAvoy states while comparing this year’s band to past years. 

Colin McClintock is a freshman this year in percussion. He has been in band since fourth grade, but playing percussion since halfway through seventh grade. Being a Freshman and moving into a high school band from middle school can be very intimidating for someone new. 

“Band this year has been great! By far my favorite class. There’s a bunch of great people there!” McClintock says when asked about how he feels in that class. He says his favorite part is marching, especially during the Thanksgiving Day Game when the band performed a field show at Palmer. “Learning the motions and pieces was a ton of fun.” 

Felicia Pacheco is a graduating Senior in the band who has been playing the flute for eight years. Felicia went through the band during COVID and said it was “ interesting because I was one of the only kids in the band room. Playing online made it hard to connect with others and caused me to miss some key moments.”

Playing in that kind of environment can discourage a person from continuing the class later into high school.  But following COVID, students in band have made really strong bonds together. Pacheco says “I was able to make a band family.” when asked about her favorite parts of the band. 

The band is a very welcoming group of students to those inside and outside of the class. When asked about the class both students recognized the likeability of those in their class. “We have a lot of great musicians that care very much about music.” says Pacheco. “There’s a bunch of great people there!” McClintock said. 

As stated earlier, Kevin McAvoy has been working with the LHS Band for the past 16 years. One of his favorite parts about teaching is pushing his students with hard pieces that they hate to start but once they challenge themselves it really comes together. “ Typically the piece the students complained about becomes the favorite piece for the year! I look forward to that discovery every year.”

After working with this band for many years, there have been some things from past years McAvoy said he would like to return to. “.  I would love to see the group get back to doing multi-day out of state trips” he explains. Currently, the band doesn’t have the numbers for that yet according to him. But he hopes to see one of those trips again soon.

On a personal note, Mr. McAvoy explains how he’s very proud of the band students’ achievements outside of the classroom. “ I was really impressed with how many students participated in ensembles outside of school this year and would love to see more musicians give it a try.” Most of these outside events include Quabbin Valley Music Festival, Districts, Honor band, or Community band.

When asked what they wanted people outside of the band to know, each person responded pretty similarly. “We are a bunch of hardworking kids that are some of the kindest people I know!” says Felicia excitedly. 

McClintock explains how he thinks it’s a great way to meet new people and it opens up a ton of opportunities like field trips and stuff!” which you might not have outside of the class.

From left to right: freshman Sage Foote, senior Felicia Pacheco, Principal Lisa Nemeth, junior Eris Learned, and junior Mason Gunther.

Mr. McAvoy expresses how music is fun! He says every student in LHS has experienced music in some sort of way. “ You gain a new understanding and appreciation for music as an art form and you make friends for life.” he states about how performing music is a whole different experience then just listening to it. 

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    Caitlyn DayJun 4, 2024 at 12:34 pm

    Great article! I love how you got perspectives from both a freshman and a senior. Your writing really shows how great music is at LHS.

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