Western Wayne Band Hosts Senior Night Celebration

From left, front row: Rhonda Fenkner, drum major, Taylor Altenhofen, Lily Visceglia, Elaine Ort, band director, Abby Lopez, and Alyssa Donnini, drum major. Back row: Alex Taylor, Julia Lamberton, Nickolas Curtis, Cheyenne Haney, Stephanie Knecht, and Hailey Robbins. Absent from photo: Haley Estus.

In a world full of uncertainty, it was clear on Thursday, Oct. 1, at Western Wayne’s Sharkey Rosetti Memorial Stadium on the campus of Western Wayne High School that it was certain that the students and families of Western Wayne are the best.  Western Wayne senior band members were honored at this event that a limited amount of family members and friends were able to attend in accordance to CDC guidelines.

            All of the students felt extremely grateful for this opportunity.

            “I am so excited to get to go out there and perform for my family and friends,” Senior Alex Taylor, who aspires to attend The University of Scranton next year, said.  “We are all so glad that this night could be possible.”

            The Western Wayne Music Department would like to publicly recognize the district administration, specifically Dr. Matthew Barrett, superintendent; Mr. Paul Gregorski, high school principal; Mr. Matthew Barr, assistant high school principal; Mr. Robert Black, athletic director; and members of the board of education who constantly support our music students for allowing this night to be possible.  They also wish to thank the families of band members who have been so flexible during this time.

            Band students were first honored before the 7 p.m. event at the stadium by Band Director Elaine Ort and the Band Parent’s Association.  Per tradition the student received senior gifts and flowers before proceeding to the stadium to be recognized with their parents. 

            It was a beautiful night outside for these students to be honored and you could feel the love and support in the air as their names were called and they walked out onto the football team for the first time in many months to be recognized for their senior year.

            A dozen band seniors were recognized.  They included Taylor Altenhofen, a band member for four years, stage crew for three, and martial arts for six years.  Taylor plans to attend Marywood University to study criminal justice and then enroll in the police academy.

            Nickolas Curtis is a four-year band member who also plays soccer, wrestling, and volleyball.  He plans to attend college upon graduation.

            Alyssa Donnini is a four-year band member and serves this year as a Drum Major.  She had done stage crew for four years, drama club for one year, chorus for two years, jazz band for two years, pit band for two years, and district band for two years.   She plans to attend a four-year college and major in criminology.

            Haley Estus is a four-year band member who also participates in cross country, basketball, track and field, FBLA and is in NHS. She plans to attend college for criminal justice and criminology.

            Rhonda Fenkner is one of this year’s Drum Majors.  She is also a member of Drama Club and musical for five years along with also having participated in choir, and pep band. Rhonda plans to attend Marywood University with a major in musical therapy.

            Cheyenne Haney is new to the Western Wayne Band this year. She also participates in track and field. She wishes to attend college upon graduation to become a psychologist or forensic scientist.

            Stephanie Knecht, a four-year marching band member, plans to attend college for veterinarian technology.

            Julia Lamberton is a member of band, cheer, FBLA, and NHS. She aspires to go into the medical imaging field.

             Abby Lopez is a four-year band member, color guard for one year, and Ultimate Frisbee team for three years.  She plans to attend Mansfield University for graphic design.

            Hailey Robbins is a four- year band member, pep band for one year, concert band for four years, and stage crew for two years.  She wishes to study criminology at Mansfield University and then go on to become an FBI Agent.

            Alex Taylor is a four-year band member, choir for three years, Ultimate Frisbee for three years, and Drama Club for three years. He plans to attend The University of Scranton for communications.

            Lily Visceglia is a four-year band member, five-year drama club and musical member, and, also, participates in FBLA, student council, and Varsity cheerleading. She wishes to attend college to pursue a career in fashion merchandising and design while minoring in performing arts.

            After all senior names were called and the students walked across the football field with their parents for pictures, the band seniors took to the floor to perform the “Star-Spangled Banner”.

            “It was a special moment to get to play with all of the seniors in the band,” Senior Lily Visceglia said.  “I have made a lot of beautiful memories in the Western Wayne Band over the years starting during my freshman year when I went on my first band trip to New York City.”

            The seniors and all members of the Western Wayne Band and Color Guard then continued to make more special memories for both themselves and their families and friends in attendance on Thursday, Oct. 1.  They presented to the audience a mash-up of their favorite senior class stand tunes, greatest hits, and songs from their 2020-21 Field Show: Hot and Cold.  This year’s Field Show songs include “Hot Stuff,” “Ice Castles,” “Hot n Cold,” and “Hot, Hot, Hot.”

            The students worked to put the show together during distanced rehearsals this summer and fall. 

            “Our rehearsals were very different this year,” Senior Alex Taylor, who plays a solo in “Ice Castles,” said.  “But it was worth it in the end to get to put together another great show for our senior year.  It really is a show we will never forget.”

            Finally, per Western Wayne tradition, always to show school pride, the band closed the show with the Western Wayne Alma Mater.              “Alyssa and I felt honored to have the chance to serve as Drum Majors tonight and for this truly historic marching band season,” Rhonda Fenkner, drum major, said about conducting the performance with fellow senior Drum Major Alyssa Donnini.

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