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RCSD strikes up the band

Rochester, N.Y. - It's a sound that hasn't been heard in at least 15 years.

The sounds of the district wide drumline that will play at school football games this fall.

“I was excited because at SOTA, we've always wanted to have a marching band ourselves,” said Griffin Harrison, a 10th grade School of the Arts student.

“I get to be a part of it,” said 8th grade SOTA student A’Najah Ford.

16 students are in the group, representing various schools within the district.

While many of the students have a musical background, some like Ford had never picked up a drum.

“Yeah it's exciting. It's fun, learning something new, something that I didn't know before,” said Ford.

It was the idea of Superintendent Bolgen Vargas.

The idea met with some challenges.

“Finding working instruments. We did repair some. And the other part, there was one in each school, it felt like, so we went to each school looking in the storage closets and finding what was out there,” RCSD Acting Associate Director of Music Liz Hanan said.

It was their passion for music and the students that made them determined to see this through.

“This is a great outlet for them. They come here, we did team building and we did all kinds of activities that formed them into a group so they can all look out for each other, which is something that is very important especially in the city schools,” the ensembles director Sean Williams said.

SOTA student Griffin Harrison says the district is sending a message to students he hears loud and clear.

“I feel like they're really giving back to the music program and I feel like they're really inspiring these kids to do their best and follow their dreams to music,” said Harrison.

A path, Harrison believes could open the door for a sharp future.

“I think if we keep going on the track we are, by getting these great talented kids in here and do our part in practicing. I think they can do great things and I'd like to see that happen,” Harrison said.

Right now, the group only has drums, but they plan to add brass and woodwind instruments by the spring.

The district also plans to order new instruments but is still looking for donations.

If you’d like to donate an instrument, music or your time contact Liz Hanan, the program’s Associate Director at RCSD’s central offices, (585) 262-8642.

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Washington Times