By: Joey Weisler
After two members of the Stoneman Douglas Eagle Regiment Marching Band lost their lives during the tragic school shooting last February, fellow band members have had to persevere and carry on without them.
Gina Montalto and Alex Schachter, who were both 14, were members of the band. Montalto was a member of the winter guard, and Schachter played trombone and baritone. The February 14th tragedy caused great turbulence for the rest of the school year, but the Eagle Regiment continued to soar and prove what it means to show Eagle Pride.
On the six-month anniversary of the tragedy, the band practiced for two weeks in the August summer heat and performed “Dies Irae from Verdi’s Requim” for the faculty and staff.
“These students have demonstrated incredible resilience and fortitude”, said Band Director Alexander Kaminsky. “They continue to respond in a positive way by trying to make the world a better place through their emotional and powerful music-making.”
The coming season’s Eagle Regiment competition show is titled ‘Beyond’. Kaminsky describes the theme of the show as going through the emotions one experiences when contemplating what lies beyond, whether in the universe, in a spiritual sense, or even just in life.
Comprised of students from Coral Springs and Parkland, Marjory Stoneman Douglas Eagle Regiment has been recognized as one of the finest and most comprehensive high school band programs in the nation. Last year, they earned straight superior ratings at the state level during the 2018 Florida Music Performance Assessments (MPAs). They also earned three Otto J. Kraushaar Awards, which is Florida’s highest honor given to a high school band program for a perfect record of superior ratings from all judges at all Florida marching and concert band assessments throughout an entire school year.
The Eagle Regiment will perform Beyond at their “Friends and Family” event Aug 31, 6 p.m. at the football field as well as at home football games and competitions.
The band program needs donations. They must pay their own security costs on the weekends when students are on campus. To contribute, contact Georgia T. Garnecki at 954-805-9505 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joey Weisler is a native to the city of Parkland and a homebred student of each of the Parkland schools (MSD class of 2013). He has earned his BA in Communication Studies from Florida Atlantic University in 2017 and his MA in English: Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University in 2018. He currently instructs English Composition at the college level.
Joey is also a nationally distributed screenwriter. Catch his Pilot, “The Abnormals”, on the South Florida PBS-WPBT Spring 2018 series “Filmmaker”. “The Abnormals” is a drama filmed in Parkland with South Florida talent (2015).
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