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Serra Band’s Shows Will Have French Flair

By Bonnijean Cooney Adams
The Tube City Almanac
August 19, 2019
Posted in: Entertainment

Serra Catholic marching band members focus on drills while perfecting their playing during camp. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac.)

This year's field shows by the Serra Catholic High School marching band will have a bit of Continental flare.

The band was initially considering a field show that would be themed around foods, but that evolved into a focus on France, said Jesse Bush, marching band director, whose students will be playing and even dancing to tunes ranging from “Work Song/At the End of the Day” from “Les Miserables” to the “Can-Can.”

“Each song in the show represents something from France,” Bush said, with solos by instrumentalists and color guard members.

“I think it’s a very fun show for us to do and, with the French theme, is more theatrical than last year,” said color guard senior Anna Osinski, who is featured as a revolutionary in the excerpt from “Les Miserables.” “The guard girls are playing different parts and there’s a guitar with the pit.”

Joe Crossen has a trumpet solo in “At the End of the Day.”

“Throughout the show we will have students doing choreography, poses and bodywork,” Bush said. “Our percussionists will also be playing on various kitchen equipment and trash cans. Abigail (Bernick) is also going to play some violin this season. Our guitarist is Kelsey Kovalsky.”

Above: Percussionist Abigail Bernick practices her part on xylophone, but also will be playing violin during Serra's French-themed show. She will be joined by guitarist Kelsey Kovalsky, with the rest of the percussion section playing traditional instruments plus various kitchen equipment and trash cans. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac.)

Drum major Katie Crossen, who also plays flute, is featured in “Aquarium,” with guard Nina Fassinger as a mime character.

“I think band camp is going really well,” Katie said last week. “We’re further along than we were at the same time last year.”

Saxophonists Ryan Gedman and Logan Kearns are highlighted in “La Vie en Rose.” Natalie Makovics is a café waitress and Madalyn Peairs/Ritz is a chef in the last two numbers.

The lively “Can-Can” wraps up the show.

Cecelia Martz, who was a color guard in high school and is a member of Seton Hill University’s group, joined the Serra staff as guard director.

Bush said he reached out to his alma mater when the position needed filled and they connected him with Martz.

Above: Color guard director Cecelia Martz, right, oversees practice with members Anna Osinski, Nina Fassinger, Natalie Makovics and Madalyn Peairs-Ritz. Each will be featured in one of the songs, with Anna as the revolutionary character, Nina as the mime, Natalie as the cafe waitress, and Madalyn as the chef. (Bonnijean Cooney Adams photo for Tube City Almanac.)

In addition to costumes, the French theme will be reflected in four backdrops designed and painted by Tyler Gedman, a Serra alumnus and brother of soloist Ryan Gedman, Bush said.

The field show will debut this Friday (Aug. 23) when Serra takes on Yough for a home football game at the Haler Heights campus.

Bonnijean Cooney Adams is a former McKeesport Daily News editor. She may be reached at adamsclick@aol.com.

Serra band, color guard:

Drum major, Katie Crossen. Flutes: Katie Crossen, Robbie Anitori, and Paige Rock. Clarinets: Serafina Szarmach, Jordan Premozic, and Carmela Capasso. Saxophones: Ryan Gedman, Logan Kearns, Joel Black, and Maigen McGinty. Trumpets: Selena Kungmin and Joe Crossen. Trombone: Harrison Potts. Percussion: Luke Edmundson, Tyler Alfer, Jacob Rock, with Abigail Bernick on percussion/bells, Joseph Pawlowski on bells, and Kelsey Kovalsky on guitar.
Color guard: Anna Osinski, Natalie Makovics, Madalyn Peairs/Ritz, and Nina Fassinger.
Color guard director: Cecelia Martz.
Band director: Jesse Bush

In addition to football games, the band is scheduled to perform during:

Tournament of Bands competition at Penn-Trafford on Sept. 7

Tournament of Bands competition at East Allegheny on Sept. 14

Tournament of Bands competition hosted by McKeesport Area on Oct. 12

Tournament of Bands Chapter 8 Championships Oct. 19 at a location to be determined.

Performance times still to be announced, but all are TOB field shows with Saturday dates.

Originally published August 19, 2019.

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