The Green Machine Marches On

Morale hits a high note at conclusion of 2019 season.

Kelly Campos, Staff Writer

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The end of the week is typically a period of relaxation for students. But for the band kids, their championship weekend is anything but a time to rest. On October 26, the members of the Brentwood High School marching band, the Green Machine, set off on a 6-hour journey through the state of New York. Their destination was the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, where they would perform the most important show of their season at the New York State Field Band Conference.

The road to preparing for the championship did not start that weekend, but long before the school year had even begun. They devoted four months of the year to perfecting their show, “Spanish Fantasy,” which they presented to schools —scattered all over Long Island and on mainland New York— bringing a bit of that “Brentwood flair” wherever they went. 

To present the best of Brentwood to the judges, the students, instructors, and parents alike worked their hardest for this show. Led by drum majors Emerese Noel and Everton Berry, the band members would practice every day (except Wednesdays!) to refine their show, and compete against other marching bands on Sundays. The parents of the band ran a concessions stand during the evening classes at the high school throughout the year, supply water to the kids on hot practice or competition days, build props, transport equipment, and provide endless amounts of support to the Green Machine. The instructors critiqued their pupils to motivate them to be at their full potential. 

One of the Green Machine’s drum majors, Everton Berry, shared the magic of the show. He described each of the four parts included in the thirty-minute performance: Bolero, Night Streets, My Spanish Heart, and Conquistador. From the sophistication of the first movement, to the power of part four, every part of the show would flaunt Brentwood’s liveliness, beauty, and dedication to their craft. Standout performers and soloists of the show were given their due time in the limelight. The stars of the horn line were Franklin Coto and Wilmer Lopez. Color Guard members Joshua Chan (a fan favorite!) and Kaitlyn Dicks performed on top of red platforms, displaying their gracefulness in a duet dance performance to all watching. As for Natalia Flores, she stole the hearts of all audience members with her gorgeous dance solo. Viewers of the show adored the jovial mood of the band.

At the end of the band conference, the kids went out onto the stadium’s field, held hands, held hope, and waited patiently for the results. When the moment finally arrived, all of Brentwood’s efforts were awarded a seventh place standing.

The highest position Brentwood has ever received was fifth place, which the band had gotten for their 2013 show, “The Blue Hour”. The six year old show was Brentwood’s introduction to their new band ranking as part of the National Class division, which made Brentwood the only high school band in the division from Long Island. They scored a 90.85 out of 100.00 total points that year. Every year Brentwood has gone to the competition since then, the high school gets placed in the bottom half. This year was no different, as the Green Machine placed seventh out of nine schools. Maybe one day, Brentwood would place in the top three after a beyond amazing season. But for now, that honor goes to Baldwinsville in third, Liverpool in second, and Arlington in first, all three having a score above a 93.000. Brentwood received an 89.500.

But, the determination of the band members is unwavering. They still hold high praise for their marching band and feel that the group had given them all such positive memories and experiences. One flute-playing member, Tiffany Pontier, felt relief that Brentwood has improved from the 8th place standing from the previous year. Members like her place less focus on the rank, and more on the experience they share with the “family” they form over the course of the season. It is this feeling of belonging and unity that keeps the Green Machine moving forward, the bonds that hold together and inspire the students and instructors to collaborate on a musical masterpiece. 

They may not be champions of the field this year, but Brentwood’s community will always support our mean, green, marching machine.