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PCHS marching band kills it with James Bond field show
By Claire K. Racine
Port Chester High School freshman Sthefany Guiracocha, freshman Jailyn Boyett, senior James Jarama and junior Luis Garza play mellophones and tubas during Band Camp on Monday, Aug. 26 at Crawford Park.
Sophomore Colby Quinlan plays the well-known guitar section in the “James Bond Theme” accompanied by Joelle Laguardia, who plays in the pit.
CLAIRE K. RACINE|WESTMORE NEWS
This year the Port Chester High School marching band is focusing all their energy on one man and the name's Bond, James Bond.
"The music's great," said band president Anthony Pellegrini. "It's from the movies of James Bond."
Fifty years ago Ian Fleming published his first book featuring the MI6 agent in 1953. Since Band Director Bob Vitti thought the music would translate well into a field show, he decided to honor the 50th anniversary of the beloved spy.
"The kids, they're into the music," he added.
The show will start with a taped rendition of Alicia Keys' rock version of "Die Another Day" followed by sound effects like a revving Aston Martin, Bond's preferred style of car, and a rendition by the band of an English fanfare. Selections from "For Your Eyes Only," "Skyfall," "Live and Let Die" and "Goldfinger" will all be performed by the band.
Throughout the show, the "James Bond Theme" with its well-known guitar rift will be played by sophomore Colby Quinlan.
"It's fun but it's kind of hard because it's kind of its own thing and I don't work with the others too much," Quinlan said.
Forcing a guitar to make the distinctive rhythm can be hard on the instrument and the musician.
"It requires knowledge of how to make the sound like that and a lot of practice, really," Quinlan said, admitting he has broken at least one string already.
The Birch Street resident, whose musical career started when he was seven years old, recently started recording his work, and he hopes to pursue music in college. In addition to the guitar, he also plays the trombone and baritone, participating last year in the marching band. Quinlan, however, prefers the guitar to wind instruments and hopes next year's show will allow him a similar opportunity.
As a senior, this is Odalis Hernandez's last year in the color guard. The Grace Church Street resident's involvement with the marching band started long before high school.
"I kind of joined because my brother was in band," she said. "I always went to the competitions and I always wanted to be in color guard."
For her final year, the color guard gets to take on some new roles.
"The exciting part of this are the colors we're presenting and the different types of flags," Vitti said.
The color guard's performance will incorporate flags bearing the Union Jack and the iconic silhouette of Bond through the barrel of a gun. The traditional rifle color guard members toss and spin in the air will get more play this year.
"We have to be spies this year, so there's more drama," Hernandez said.
The guard has also been teaching the rest of the band a couple tricks.
"We're learning some different moves," said Pellegrini, a senior who plays the baritone. "Mr. Vitti wants to keep things interesting."
Even after a two-week boot camp, there is still a lot of work to be done, but Tim Vyskocil, a senior who is the band vice president, has high hopes.
"I think this band has great potential," the trumpet player said. "Everyone seems like they are trying hard and are dedicated."
The band's first competition will be on Sept. 21 at Brien McMahon High School in Norwalk, Ct.
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