Marching band students play final note at “Bagel Night” senior celebration

Marching Band seniors pose on the football field for one of their last class photos. ”It’s been a great experience being with the group, I’ll never forget it,” senior Josh Kwong said. Photo by Kelsey Gara.

After a long, unpredictable last three years, Marching Band seniors had their final farewell to the marching band program on Oct. 20, during their new tradition, “Bagel Night.”

Over the course of the night, the band ran through their season’s set for the last time and reminisced on their time together over the course of their high school careers.

Junior percussionist Casey Newman said that the night has always been a way to commemorate the seniors’ time with the band, a final run through followed by a celebration full of food, music, and laughter. 

“Bagel Night is just our way of celebrating our seniors and giving them a happy final note on the season,” Newman added.

Senior trumpet player Steve Williams, who has been a member of the marching band for all of his four years of high school, said that it has become a vastly important part of the marching band to celebrate their seniors.

“Celebrating the seniors is a big tradition in marching band and Bagel Night is just a really nice send-off for us,” Williams added.

After a season of long hours and hard work, this night to have fun and relax was needed and very much enjoyed by the band, according to senior Kailyn Macanip. 

“It’s a lot of fun. We play games and eat food, and it’s nice to be able to hang out with everybody without worrying about our show. It’s a great way to end the season,” Macanip added.

Although Bagel Night is a time for festivities and celebration, the thought of a band without the seniors sits in the back of the minds of younger marching band members, according to junior player Amita Sharma.

“It’s been really nice getting back on the field with everyone again this season but it also is kind of bittersweet because it feels like we had such little time with our seniors and now the season is almost over and it’s already Bagel Night,” Sharma said.

Sharma wasn’t the only one who had that feeling: a bittersweet sensation was shared across the entire band during the night.

“It’s sad to see the seniors go,” junior Riley Straub said. “But I think they really did help us through this year and we’re grateful for that.” 

Despite all the troubles the past two years have posed with quarantine, remote learning, and social distancing, the marching band was set back, but the students were still able to have a successful season. Band Director Kelly Cooper said that in order to have the success they did the seniors and upperclassmen needed to step up in a big way.

“Because our season wasn’t normal and the influx of new kids, big roles needed to be filled in the band and the juniors and seniors did a good job with that,” Cooper said.

And their leadership didn go unnoticed, reflecting on the season that night, the majority of the success and overall good morale of the band was attributed to the seniors and juniors.

As well as the director acknowledging the support that the upperclassmen gave, younger students were able to recognize the seniors as the backbone of the band during the celebration like Sophomore Ryan Weaver who attributed most of the band’s success to the senior section leaders of the band.

“The seniors and some of the juniors did such a good job being section leaders and being there for all of us this season,” Weaver said.

As conversations died down, festivities ended, and the night began to come to a close, the emotions started to pour as students prepared to leave. 

Senior Dylan Funk reflected on his time in the East marching band fondly after the band’s final run-through.

“It really was great getting to do that with all the kids I’ve grown up with. I’ve grown up with them and have seen them grow musically,” Funk said. “I’ll definitely miss these nights.”

Samantha Trujillo is a staff writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl

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