DuBOIS — Members of the DuBois Area High School Marching Band will rock with the music of Journey at this fall’s halftime show during the DuBois Beavers’ home football games.
Band Director Melinda Swauger said the 50-member band will perform “Don’t Stop Believing,” “Open Arms,” “Any Way You Want It,” and “Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’.”
Swauger said the annual band camp was held from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. all last week, July 25-29, and this week, Aug. 1-3, at Mansell Stadium.
“The students work very hard to learn the skills necessary to march and play their chosen instrument,” said Swauger. “It is quite a process learning to perform music while moving from point A to point B.”
The students must execute drill formations while playing/spinning equipment, changing directions, counting, watching the drum major, listening, breathing correctly, and last but not least, performing, said Swauger.
Swauger said the band students are enthusiastic about the upcoming season.
“The weather has been a little cooler this camp, so that’s always good,” she said.
This coming school year marks Swauger’s sixth year as the high school band director. She was also the band director from 1997-2007 and will be entering her 30th year working in the DuBois Area School District.
Swauger is joined by Assistant Band Director Carrie Senior, Music Instructor Nicholas Kloszewski and Percussion Instructor Danielle Rode.
The drum majors are Rayne Caltagarone and Andy Hewitt.
Swauger said she picked Journey songs from the 1980s this season based on who the band members are and their experience.
“I listen to a lot of shows, and we’ve been doing rock shows since I’ve come back,” said Swauger. “I mean, it’s funny, because we did a Styx show like three years ago, and they had no idea who Styx was, but they love that show. They still talk about it, because they love it. This (Journey), they are more familiar with.”
This year’s band includes students in grades ninth through 12th and there are also three eighth-graders from the DuBois Area Middle School, she said.
The marching band will also get to go to Disney World in April of 2023, something that happens every four years, said Swauger.
“We’re gearing up to do a lot of fundraising to help their trip,” she said.
Swauger said the band practices two days a week during the regular season.
“And, of course, we do our home games and competitions starting in mid-September through mid-November,” she said.
The band will perform starting at the DuBois Beavers’ first home game against Karns City on Aug. 26.
The band’s first competition will be Sept. 17 in Brockway.
“We will compete every weekend from that Brockway competition through the end of October,” said Swauger. “And then we will go to the Atlantic Coast Championships on Nov. 12.”