Marching Band Community Show 10/24

Marching Band Community Show 10/24
Posted on 10/22/2018
Marching Band

The Rome Free Academy Marching Black Knights will host a community performance of their 2018 program “Mirage”, on Wednesday, October 24 at 8:00pm at RFA Stadium.  Admission is free and the band welcomes friends, family, band alumni, and community members of all ages.


The Rome to the Dome community show will serve as the band’s final performance before the New York State Field Band Conference (NYSFBC) Championships at Syracuse’s Carrier Dome on Sunday, October 28. The 2018 season marks the band’s eighth year of competition in the NYSFBC.


Band president Maria Keeney say she is “so excited for everyone to see all the hard work we have put into our show!” She also says she is “very proud of the product we have made.” Band Director Jake Meiss explains that “it really is a long journey, from learning the music back in the spring, to learning marching movements over the summer, and then performing and refining the show through the fall. We start with nothing, and through the hard work of the staff and students, we end up with this polished production.”


This year’s production is entitled “Mirage,” featuring music of Arabian influence while depicting all the tricks our eyes can play in the extreme heat of the desert.  The show includes the pieces “Arabesque” by Samuel Hazo, “Night in Tunisia” by Dizzy Gillespie, “Arabian Dances” by Brian Balmages, and “Echoes of Egypt” by Nick Baratta; the entire show was arranged for the RFAMB by Baratta. As they play that music, the band uses several sand dunes to set the desert mood, and moves mirror panels around the field to help create illusions throughout the show. Band director Jake Meiss designed the drill, with color guard design from Lindsay Mogle and Jamie Mazur.


“Mirage” presents some interesting opportunities for the ensemble. Every percussionist plays multiple instruments this year, with drumline members playing grounded percussion for the first chunk of the show. The wind and brass players all have demanding music to play, and pick up flags during the percussion feature to depict a desert sandstorm. The color guard has a variety of different equipment to manipulate, a costume change, and some excellent opportunities for character work.  Saxophone section leader and band secretary David Salce says, “My favorite part of the show was the unexpected flag choreography Mr. Meiss threw at us. But it has been one of my favorite parts that I love doing. Meanwhile, senior color guard captain Adriana Beckwith says her favorite part of the show is the closing piece: “I love the music and the work we have on rifle. The energy during the ending flag feature is high and we’re all pushing towards the end of the show which makes it exciting!”


Meiss says the show has “garnered praise from adjudicators throughout the regular season.  They have pointed out things we need to improve, and we’ve been working to make those improvements.” The RFAMB heads into championships undefeated in the regular season in their division, and with the highest scores in their division. Meiss says that’s “far from a guarantee though – we’ve got to work hard this final week to stay on top!” This fall, RFA is competing against schools throughout the state in the Large School 3 division, going head-to-head against bands from Auburn, Copiague, East Ramapo, Greece, Hicksville, Hilton, and Suffern. The band encourages the community to come and see the community show Wednesday evening to see the band when they’re at their peak – right before finals – and help send them off to the dome feeling confident and proud. Senior color guard captain Kaitlin Flint says, “As championships is coming closer, we are adding the final touches and clarifications to our show to make it the best it can be for our final performance. I cannot wait to perform “Mirage” at the Dome for the last time and see all of our hard work pay off!”


The band will honor 12 graduating seniors at the community show: Adriana Beckwith, Anja Burkhart, Kayla Bush, Zach Filer, Kaitlin Flint, Maria Keeney, Rebecca Norman, Izabella Rivera, Dominic Sleszynski, Amity Szatko, Jakob Talbot, and Tori Wright.


The Marching Black Knights are comprised of 73 students in grades eight through twelve. They are under the field direction of drum majors Izabella Rivera and Katie Dursi. Flutes include Levia Hernandez, Megan Norris, Amity Szatko, Rowan Parker, and Kayleen Martelli on piccolo. Clarinets are Maria Keeney, Madison Wolfe, Clarissa Burkhart, Avery Hildebran, Alexa Platis, Aleena Rosario, and Madison Short. Saxophones are Rafael Rivera, David Salce, Gianna Kleber, Mallory Tikalsky, Olivia Bauer, Dennis van Hoesel, Mariah Taylor, Isabella Davis, and Nick Ferretti. The trumpet section includes Zoey Fragapane, Anja Burkhart, Sven Van Hoesel, Enrique Rivera, Cooper Englebert, and Alex Linderman. Mellophones are Dominic Sleszynski, and Jakob Talbot. The low brass section is comprised of trombonists Bethany Beeman, Joe Keeney and Jacob Cosentino; euphonium player Zach Swistak; and tuba players Giovanna Sudol, Ramzy Davis, and Alex Zappavigna. Percussion ensemble members include Patrick O’Neil, Zach Filer, Deven Hosley, Emily Worth, Chris Incorvaia, Hunter Pisaneschi, Christopher Cobb, Christian Cobb, Antonio Cicci, Jimmy Pike, Erin Lennon, Alexus Lennon, Kevin O’Neill, Mia Mirabelli, and Kenneth Davis. Color guard captains are Adriana Beckwith, Kayla Bush, and Kaitlin Flint, with guard members Tori Wright, Myia Wright, Casey Hunziker, Hana Samad, Emily Brement, Becky Worth, Rebecca Norman, Adelina Rivera, Elena Davis, Lily Fleming, Ally Ferretti, Kayla Davis, Erika Rizzo, Kelly O’Neill, Hannah Morrison, Kaylee Gazzilli, and Joe Gazzilli, with special assistance from Anthony Coney.


The Marching Black Knights staff is comprised of Meiss, Lindsay Mogle, Aaron Decker, Michael Fenton, Keller Shelton, Anne Gannon, Nick Johnson, Jamie Mazur, and Melissa Rashford.


News and updates on the band’s scores and involvement in the community can be found on their Facebook fan page: RFA Marching Band. marching bandmarch



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