Sunday, September 5, 2010

THS Band to premier "Foundry" by New England Composer

The Torrington High School Symphonic Band has commissioned New England composer Ben Aldridge for the 2010-2011 school year. 
"I'm thinking "Foundry" because of the history of the brass industry along the Naugatuck River.  I did some reading and found some interesting history about Brass Mills in Torrington.  There's something really mysterious and captivating about the idea of a place where metal is melted down and reshaped.  The concept of metallurgy is fascinating.  I see a lot of opportunity for programmatic material there.  Hissing sounds, metallic percussion, clanks, thuds, contrasting bright vs. dark timbres and harmonies.  The possibilities are endless.
This piece is going to be seriously cool." - Ben Aldridge

For more information about Ben Aldridge 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

My Freshman Year in the THS Band - Washington, D.C.

So July 3 through 5, we were in Washington D.C. The nation's capitol. What we were there for? To march in the National Independence Parade. It was a great field trip and such an experience. I will never forget that field trip, ever. It was so memorable and I was happy to be with my second family, the THS Marching Band. The first day was kind of rough. Our bus showed up about an hour late, I believe, and we all had to wake up very early to catch the bus that was suppose to depart at 5. I didn't mind at all, it was nice to see everyone in the 2009-2010 group together for one last time. After loading and everything, the bus ride there was about 6 hours with a rest stop for breakfast. Everyone was sleepy, but I find it funny to see everyone and their early morning faces. When we arrived in D.C., we stopped at this transportation area to pick up our tour guide and there were a lot of buses, but amazing monuments to look at. Afterwards, we were suppose to get a tour of the Capitol building but apparently something suspicious was going on, so we did not get a tour. Luckily, there was the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum to save the day, ourselves, and legs from walking in the heat for a little while. And then afterwards we went to this park and saw these statues of men from one of the wars we fought and other things like this wall that had these drawings on it and it was really interesting to view in person. Afterwards, we went and saw the Lincoln Memorial, and the Mall and the Washington Monument was viewable too from a distance. A lot of people were there getting pictures and what not. After that trip, we walked over to see the memorial wall with the troops that have fought in wars. Seeing all of those names... people love our country. On our way to dinner on the bus, we saw the Pentagon and the monuments around it as we drove by. Dinner was delicious and I'm pretty sure everyone had fun at that place. Lastly, on day one we checked into our hotel, the Courtyard Marriott, and got settled with everything and our roommates. The hotel was really nice. The air conditioning was nice, the rooms and beds were comfortable, and breakfast was great. I'd sure love to have breakfast there every morning. Then, day two... dun-dun-dun. The big day for the THS Marching Band and the main reason we went on the field trip. I woke up around 6:30 to catch breakfast and get ready for the day and after breakfast and everyone getting ready to march in our uniforms, we loaded the buses and then when we got to our targeted area we sat for a little while and watched some of the other marching bands warm up. It was just great to see everyone, and I was pumped to march the parade seeing all of these marching bands that marched in the same parade with us in the insane heat. Before we stepped off for the actual parade, I already saw so many people in the sidewalks. I couldn't imagine how the rest of the parade was at the time, but as soon as we made that turn, holy cow, I haven't seen so many people on sidewalks in my life. I was so nervous! I was marching on Constitution Avenue in the nation's capitol in the National Independence parade, in front of hundreds and hundreds of people that were cheering and watching us. It was very hot, but hey, we were marching under the clear blue skies and showing the country what Torrington's got. I was trying not to look around so much because I was so amazed by everything as I was roll stepping down that street. It's a once in a life time kind of thing, so I will always remember marching down that street. I want to cry tears of joy for just thinking about it. Once we got to the point of the parade where there were people for Torrington in the crowds, I wanted to make sure my chin was up, my flute angle was nice and high and I was marching with pride. The feeling is indescribable unless you actually marched that parade, it was one of the most amazing moments of my life. The parade felt kind of long overall, but hey, we showed 'em Torrington. So after all that marching, sweating, and showing of pride, we sat at a park and had our boxed lunches and afterwards we got to checkout the California Repercussionists. They were amazing! I've never seen a group of people playing in a band together like that and it was a fun experience to watch them. After that, we headed to go see the White House for a little and it didn't really hit me that I was less than a mile away from the President's home. And then we went to the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. That place was really cool actually, I was looking at some of America's history in a big building filled with items and people. Then for dinner, we went to this fish market restaurant and the food was delicious, I wish I had more! We made a toast to the senior class of 2010 and to the people that weren't leaving with us afterwards and staying long with their family, and of course a big toast to Mr. S, our beloved band teacher where we wouldn't be there without him. Thank you, Mr. S, for everything! You mean so much to each and every one of us in the band. After a great dinner with everyone, we sat and waited for our buses and then we saw the nation's biggest fireworks next to the Washington Monument. What an experience! The fireworks were absolutely amazing and huge, and that was the grand finale of day two. On day three, our last day in the nation's capitol, we went to the Arlington National Cemetery. It was really awesome to see the gravestones perfectly aligned at no matter what angle you were at because the cemetery was for those who served for the country. It was really hot during the tour, but it was just amazing seeing all of these gravestones of all of these people. The Torrington High School also placed in the switching of the guards of the tomb of the unknown soldiers and the wreath laying ceremony. Carolyn, Michelle, Dave, and Tom did something that could happen once in a lifetime too being in the wreath laying ceremony and making our mark there. After the cemetery, we stopped quickly at the monuments for the marines and took a group picture, then we dropped off our tour guides and started heading home. The ride home was rough, but I will never ever forget such an amazing field trip with the THS Marching Band of 2009-2010, chaperones/parents, tour guides, sight-seers, and Mr. S! Thank you so much for everything. This is something I will always remember.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

THS Music Alumni at Studio 59!

Studio 59 Summer Performance Series
Featuring THS Music Alumni!

Saturday July 10, 2010 7:30pm
AMERICANA: Strike Up the Band
The Evergreen Brass Quintet
Dan Miller - former student teacher at THS
Richard Manning - former student teacher at THS
Michele Zordan - THS Class of 2004 French Horn

Friday July 30, 2010 7:30pm
John DelVento - THS Class of 2009 Euphonium

For tickets:
per concert
$25 single - $40 for two - $12 students
Season pass: $110 (6 concerts)
Cash or check (payable to Studio 59)
Phone or email reservations required

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Freshman Year in the THS Band

in the month of May, we've had concerts and the Memorial Day parade to march and the events were on the last days of May too. First off, there was the district band concert on May 25th, also called Bandapooloza. We have the kids from the elementary schools: Forbes School, Torringford School, East School, Southwest School and Vogel-Wetmore School in Torrington play as a large group, then from the Torrington Middle School we have the 6th grade band and the 7/8th grade band, and last but not least, us, the Torrington High School concert band. The elementary school did a great job, I can't believe they're going to be the future of this band, it's nice seeing all of those little kids play instruments that we now play today. They played 3 songs together, each conduced by different band teachers, including Mr. Hodgkins of the middle school band. The middle school was awesome, and because they couldn't have their concert due to Mr. and Mrs. Hodgkins newborn baby (congrats, btw!) they played their concert set list there. And then us. We played songs that we were suppose to play in the winter concert which we couldn't have take place because of a snow day and no way to reschedule. And then all of the bands that were there played Yorktown March together. We got compliments for keep our songs short and sweet, and I thought that was thoughtful. It was very hot that night, so I'd give a big thanks to everyone who came out on such a hot day and waving their programs to stay cool. On May 27th, we had the Farewell Concert for the Class of 2010. It included all of the choir, orchestra, and band. I think everyone did a fabulous job. The choir sung beautiful pieces and at the end had some of their alumni perform with the choir. Orchestra actually did great, . Jazz band did a terrific job, I was very surprised of their hard work to get 7th place in the 2010 Berklee College of Music High School Jazz Festival, they definitely deserved it. I think our concert band did a good job with our songs. I'm use to playing in front of all those parents after experience, so it isn't really nerve-wracking to play in the Warner anymore. It was nice to play those last songs with the senior class of 2010, I really liked that class and they've helped so much with my band experience as a freshmen. I couldn't ask for better seniors, thank you so much and good luck!

On May 31st, we marched the Memorial Day parade. I was so nervous for that parade because we haven't marched in so long and I wasn't really use to keeping in-step with the song yet, so that is definitely something I think I have to work on for D.C. I also have to remember the entire song too, that'd help a lot, instead of just blaring the wrong notes or just guessing notes especially since the song is Stars And Stripes Forever. The parade, I thought actually went by fast since it didn't stop. Of course, the whole band was sweating and was getting hot...but hey, we march blood, sweat, and tears. We also marched proud with our banner stating that we're marching in the National Independence Parade that half of Torrington didn't know about. I know we could've done so much better at the parade, but that's what rehearsal is for on June 15th, to make a ton of improvement. It's a difference than marching from the middle school band because you're actually wearing uniforms and have to keep in-step and have good horn angles. I have no problem with it though because I love marching band and it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be. So, I think the incoming freshmen for the class of 2013 and any other incoming classes for the future shouldn't be scared of marching band, it's one of the most fun things I experience in my life.

There's about 26 days until we go to Washington D.C. to march in the National Independence Parade! I am so excited! It's a lifetime experience I can't wait to happen. I just want to see the crowd of people cheering on that street when we start marching...I just can imagine it, but it will be more exciting once that moment happens. I don't think half the band knows that so many people are going to be watching us and judging us on how we do along with the other marching bands from the country that are participating in this parade. Only less than a month, wow. This year is going by so fast! It amazes me.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Pride of Torrington gets ready for National Parade

The Torrington High School Marching Band "The Pride of Torrington" will represent the State of Connecticut and all of New England in the 2010 National Independence Day Parade July 4, 2010 in Washington, D.C.  This will mark the second time since 2006 that THS will be marching in a National Parade!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


The Torrington High School Band "The Pride of Torrington" will hold a FREE Car Wash Fundraiser (Donations accepted) on Saturday June 19, 2010 from 10:30am-2:30pm at the McDonalds on Main Street in Torrington.

Torrington High School Band will be representing New England in the 2010 National Independence Day Parade in Washington, D.C. on Sunday July 4. This will mark the second time since 2006 that THS will be marching in a National Parade!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Freshman Year in the THS Band - Litchfield County Band Festival

Wow. The Litchfield County Band Festival was amazing at the Warner Theater. All of the bands did such a great job tonight. The songs played by the bands were a pleasure to listen to. I think we did well. American Elegy was heart-touching and Inchon was so intense. Compared to how we did at our Spring Concert, I think we did better. We sounded better, we were together, and dynamics and articulations are improving well. I wondered if playing Elegy made anyone cry because that would mean we played it correctly and we developed the maturity to play the song. I still think we need to work on Inchon. In the gym and in the Warner, tricks were played and sounds jumped everywhere and it personally made me confuse at some parts and I went off tempo. But thanks to Mr. S for being such a great conductor, I didn't totally mess up. The helicopter parts with the drum heads sounded so cool. I love that part of the song Inchon, it builds great intensity. The solo parts in the song sounded good too. The wonderful flute soloists filled up the room and did a great job, I'm proud of my girls. I can't wait for the Fair-well Concert. This year just went by too fast and it's unbelievable. Just wow.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Navy Jazz Ensemble coming to Torrington!!

The United States Naval Academy "Next Wave" Jazz Ensemble will be performing a FREE concert at the Warner Theatre on Sunday April 11, 2010 7:30pm. The "Next Wave" Jazz Ensemble is the premier ensemble on the Naval Academy. THS Jazz Ensemble I will be performing at 7:00pm and The "Next Wave" will start at 7:30pm.

FREE Tickets are available at the Warner Box Office 68 Main Street Torrington and all Torrington Savings Bank locations.

Don't miss out on a GREAT NIGHT OF JAZZ in Torrington.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

My Freshman Year in the THS Band - March Concert

Our Spring Concert is tomorrow night! I'm excited and a little bit nervous. We're not so ready for it, though. We still have a lot of things we can fix, but due to all the talking we do in band we did waste a lot of time. I hope people actually practiced for this concert somewhat because the songs are amazing. I am looking forward to see how Inchon sounds in our gymnasium, and also I can't wait to hear An American Elegy. The trumpet solo and the ending is epic and emotional. I can't believe I'm already playing in the concert for the Torrington High School Band. I always looked up to it since I started playing the flute in 5th grade, the band is so inspiring. Hopefully, we can have that affect on others. The year is going by so fast, I didn't think the concert was going to come up like this. I hope Mr. S and our student teacher, Mr. Manning, is somewhat impressed with our performance tomorrow night. It's us that makes the difference and effect, so I just really hope we do somewhat well. I can't wait! Not to mention, I am currently in my concert dress to see how it looks, and it looks good!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Congratulations to THS Students 2009-2010 Festivals

Congratulations to the following THS Music Students that were accepted to local, state and regional music festivals for the 2009-2010 school year.

Berkshire League Music Festival

Michelle Wallace - Bassoon
Jennifer Hart - Bass Clarinet
Kyle Hogan - Alto Sax
Rachel Rubino - Trumpet
Bethany Franklin - French Horn
Bill Cornish - Trombone
Jon Kulinski - Tuba
Myles Ross - Tuba

CT American School Band Directors Association Honor Band Festival

ASBDA Wind Ensemble
Bridget Bertoldi - Flute
Michelle Wallace - Bassoon
Rachel Rubino - Trumpet

ASBDA Symphonic Band
Rachel Pelchat - Flute
Jackie Okenquist -Clarinet
Kailey Stewart - Clarinet
Jennifer Hart - Bass Clarinet
Jasmine Bailey - Tenor Sax
Andrew Serven - Trumpet
Bethany Franklin - French Horn
Jon Kulinski - Tuba
Brittany Brown - Percussion

Connecticut Music Educators Association Northern Region Music Festival

Connecticut Music Educators Association Northern Region Chorus
Rachel Pelchat

Connecticut Music Educators Association Northern Region Orchestra
Maryssa Brogis - Viola
Danthanh Trinh - Viola
Dale Osterman - Cello
Rachel Rubino - Trumpet

Connecticut Music Educators Association Northern Region Concert Band
Bridget Bertoldi - Flute
Michelle Wallace - Bassoon
Chris DeLouis - Tenor Sax
Bethany Franklin - French Horn

Connecticut Music Educators Association Northern Region Flute Choir
Bridget Bertoldi
Rachel Pelchat

Connecticut Music Educators Association Northern Region Youth Band
Stephanie Bramble - Flute
Cory Dumond - Alto Sax
Jasmine Bailey - Tenor Sax
Andrew Serven - Trumpet
Bethany Franklin - French Horn
Bronte Escobar - Clarinet
Chris Shea - Clarinet
Pat Shea - Tuba
Michael Castle - Euphonium
CJ Ferriolo - Trombone
Jon Kulinski - Tuba

New England Music Festival
Bridget Bertoldi - Flute I - Band
Michelle Wallace - Bassoon I - Band
Rachel Rubino - Trumpet I Band
Maryssa Brogis - Viola - Orch
Rachel Pelchat - Soprano - Choir

Connecticut Music Educators Association All-State Music Festival
Bridget Bertoldi - Flute
Rachel Pelchat - Flute
Michelle Wallace - Bassoon
Rachel Rubino - Trumpet