Marching band, boosters celebrate holiday season
With memories of warmer days dancing in their heads, the high school band boosters celebrated individual members and the overall season on one of the coldest days of the new year.
Members of the band and their families recently attended the banquet at Olde Homestead Golf Club, New Tripoli.
After brunch, band director James Lykins acknowledged those who contributed to the band’s success.
He thanked the band boosters,
“It’s our vision to extend this down to the younger grades,” Lykins said.
Carol Fella, assistant band director, also expressed her thanks.
“I had the honor of working with the drum line [to produce] an incredibly entertaining and crowd-pleasing show,” she said, recalling highlights of the season, including the Slatington Halloween Parade. “You had some tricky music this season but you found a way to do it.”
President of the band boosters Dennis Dengler also addressed the gathering.
“Our kids put out the best music show in the league for the size that we are,” Dengler said.
Lykins recalled asking Jen Mease if she would help with the color guard.
“This was a big opportunity. I hadn’t done this since high school,” Mease said.
Mease said the year ended up “a great success” despite some unfavorable circumstances.
She cited “one night practicing under pouring rain and a lot of other rain memories, even picture day.”
After the recognitions, there was a ceremonial “passing of the mace,” from senior drum major Patrick Maurer to junior drum major Jess Eberle.
“This band is now yours,” Lykins said.
Eberle spoke to those in the audience.
“I was a junior drum major last year which was absolutely amazing,” Eberle said. “It was the first time I got to see what it was like to be in charge of a large group so I’m really, really excited for this year.”
Lykins became nostalgic when he distributed varsity letters to the seniors.
“These kids have been with me for a very long time,” Lykins said. “After seven years, they are like my children.
“You will be missed ... greatly.”
Varsity letters were also given to eligible juniors and sophomores.
Before the event concluded, Lykins offered his thanks to Sheryl Baran.
“I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about one very special person, someone who was two or three days ahead of me in her thinking,” Lykins said. “It’s only fitting since this is the end of our final season together.
“I’m going to have to fly solo next year. It’s been an amazing four years.”
Baran responded in kind.
“It’s been an honor and privilege to serve,” she said.
In a moment of levity, Lykins reported band members had asked him if they still needed to bake cookies now that Baran was leaving.
“I hope your cookies are on speed dial,” he told them.
Before disbanding, Dengler reminded the group of a meeting Jan. 21 at the middle school to discuss plans, including programs and group trips.