hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA

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September 27, 2012

the Sweet sound of marching music

Rebirth of Haverhill High band excites community

Certain sounds are synonymous with high school football games: The bone-crunching hits, the raucous crowd cheering the home team on.

This year at Haverhill High games, another classic sound is returning after a six-year absence — the music of the high school marching band.

For the first time since the 2006-2007 school year, the band has enough participation for a full-fledged marching group. The band made its debut at the home-opening football game at Trinity Stadium on Sept. 14, and is looking to improve each week to the point where it can march and play during the Santa Parade in November

“The energy is very, very high among these kids,” said Joseph Leary, the band’s director. “They are just thrilled to be out on the field.”

The band consists of close to 30 students in the city’s middle schools and high school. They are currently stationed under the scoreboard and play during the football game. Eventually, Leary hopes the band will grow to include about 70 students who will play on the field at halftime.

So far, the reviews have been stellar.

“The biggest thing is the overwhelming amount of enthusiasm that we are getting from everyone that it’s back,” Leary said. “It never really went away, but it wasn’t what people were accustomed to. We didn’t have a big presence. We had a small pep band. Overall, the enthusiasm that we’re getting is more than gratifying. They missed it and they wanted it back.”

The ability to perform at the games is something that students doubted would ever come back.

“I had no idea about this,” said Eric Hewitt, a freshman guitar player. “I was just going to join the jazz band. I really had a great time at our first game and I heard from my friends and family that they really enjoyed it.”

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