Published in the April 15, 2016 edition

You’ve heard the powerful music of the MHS band regularly at concerts, competitions, football games and parades. But have you heard what the band has to say? Alexis Csicsek, MHS senior, Drum Major, vocalist and euphonium and guitar player, explores and reports.


There are 15 minutes left on the clock. My shoulders are back and my elbows are frozen and I lift my chin up to look into the glare of the field lights. With the sound of three clicks I step off in time, rolling my feet heel to toe, down the 50-yard line. It’s half time, which means it’s band time. If you have ever attended a football game, you’ve heard the band play one of our shows, whether it was the Incredibles, the Beatles, the Who or even Jimi Hendrix. You have seen us march across the field, whether we are marching in straight lines or alternating spinning trombones. You have heard us rock out and have fun, whether it be dancing to the drum cadence or playing the guitar on the podium. But the Melrose High School Band is more than what you see on the football field, “I’m not sure if people are really aware of that,” says trumpet player Tim Corvene.

Once Marching Band season ends in November, band is actually anything but done for the year. We immediately transition into concert band season, where you can see us playing everything from traditional pieces such as Folk Dances by Dimitri Shostakovich, to the theme from Batman. Concert Band is all about studying the music in depth, blending as an ensemble and learning all about different styles of music and composers. Concert Band differs from Marching Band because we play “music from a variety of different areas and the focus is on the subtleties in the music and less on playing loud and powerfully,” says James Talbot, a junior trombone player. But Concert Band is not all. …

During Concert Band season, our most selective ensemble, the Jazz Band, begins rehearsal and performances. Students can audition to play in this ensemble that meets outside of school and gain the opportunity to play solos, study different styles of music and even perform with a vocalist. Jazz Band is all about “having fun and playing things that you want to play, how you want to play it with your own flair and personality,” according to Erik Heislein, trombone player. You can catch the Jazz Band playing our signature piece, “Moondance” by Van Morrison, at any of the concert band performances.

But this year, the Melrose Marching Band didn’t really slow down: we are back to our Saturday rehearsals once again to prepare for our performance in the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, D.C. Through our hard work and your support, we have received this amazing opportunity and honor and look forward to representing the State of Massachusetts and the City of Melrose in our Nation’s capital 50 short days from now! To learn more about the Band or to help us in our fundraising efforts for band instruments, please visit