By Gwendolyn Fruehauf, SGI Student Reporter
Every beginning has a start, but not all beginnings have an end. Beginnings that positively lack termination are sometimes referred to as traditions: set patterns of behavior and thought. These repeated events always seem to have a spark of significance, which makes sense. How else would they last so long?
The Pageant of Bands is an annual tradition that began over 50 years ago. In this band festival, schools across Western New York travel to the streets of Springville to compete in marching band, concert band, percussion ensemble, and color guard. These schools go up against other schools of the same size. Springville, being the host, performs, but does not participate in the competition.
This year, the festivities will begin on Friday, May 19 and come to a close on Saturday, May 20.
Joe Gervase is the high school band instructor at Springville Griffith-Institute. Being a part of this district for seven years has given him the opportunity to truly appreciate the pageant and understand its significance.
“Right now, we are one of the few band pageants that still exists in New York State,” Gervase said, matter-of-factly. “There used to be many, but the importance of marching band has dwindled over the years. Band pageants have become fewer and fewer. We are one of the few that has actually been able to stay alive over the past 53 years.”
Samantha Gorski, a tenth grade band student at Springville High School, hinted at the importance of the festival.
“We all have to walk on the same foot at the same time,” she said. “It’s really big in teaching all of us unity and to work together as a team.”
No matter the weather, these students come together and support each other as musicians. Gervase explained the impact of these interactions.
“As far as our students helping with the pageant, it gives them an opportunity to interact with other bands so that they develop a lot of skills in working with other people.”
On top of the learning aspect, this experience allows students to enjoy their time as musicians.
Gorski developed this idea, saying, “I think a lot of people enjoy the activity. I know that on the actual pageant day, it’s a lot of fun to help out, because you’re with your friends all the time. You get to do your own thing.”
The spark that keeps a fire alive is no different from the “spark” that keeps this tradition running, however big a mystery this may be.
But in the end, it doesn’t really matter if we know what keeps us moving forward. It is enough to know that this tight-knit community will not let the future fall through.
For the Pageant of the Bands schedule, visit www.springvillegi.org.