Continuing the Dynasty of the Holyoke High School Band


Photo courtesy of our community partner, Kevin Berrien.

Crash! You can hear the sound of the cymbals as you walk the hallways.

It’s that season, when the Holyoke High Band goes from marching band to concert band. Marching is a concept in band where students learn to play in parades as well as other small events that go on in the surrounding areas and learn how to march while playing. Concert band is the transition stage of learning how to play more advanced pieces while working together to produce an amazing sound. It’s not as easy as it looks to play an instrument. Some of the students in the band have been playing all their lives, and they really enjoy the sound of music. Ms. Cavanaugh, the former band instructor, will always be a legend in the eyes of the Holyoke High School band, and our new instructor, Ms. Stewart, has continued that legacy of changing the band for the better.

The band is a fun and enjoyable class. One of the sophomores in the band, Janiel Cruz, said, “As the days go on, the band just gets better and better. A lot of people should really look into doing it. To me, this is more than just band, it’s a family.’’ Music is a way to express your emotions when you’re feeling down on a dreary day.

The band was once really big and had many opportunities for all of its students. We tend to travel to many places in Western Massachusetts area, such as the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Big E. There’s a lot of moving around at times, but it’s all so fun. Ms. Stewart has been a great band director over the last couple of years. Sometimes change isn’t what we want, but it’s something you get used to. Last year, the band went out to a competition under the direction of Ms. Stewart and won the highest medal you can receive, platinum. The band may have shrunken, but the legends and memories of it will never die.

The band is looking for more members with experience. All people are welcome. Band is a full year course that is offered to HHS students that involves being a part of a lot of community events. It gives kids the chance to meet all new people and become close to one another, almost like a family. It’s a great experience. Music is a culture at HHS. We need kids to continue to join the band and continue playing for these events that have been going on for many years. It’s a legacy.