Wantagh Music Department
Newsday Marching Band Festival 2018
Congratulations to the High School Marching Band and Varsity Dance Team on a successful performance of our field show, "Innovations" at the Newsday Marching Band Festival! This was Wantagh's 56th appearance in the annual Newsday Marching Band Festival. Theo Hostetter was featured in a trumpet solo in "Daft Punk Medley" under the direction of drum major Kat Proscia. Drum major James Seaman led the band in "Seven Nation Army", featuring our Varsity Dance Team under captains Arianna Benedetto and Jessica Rosanio. Congratulations to all our students and directos Dan Aviles, Chris Cockren, Brianna Ruda, and Jade Chu!
Marching Band 2018
The Wantagh High School Marching Band and Varsity Dance Team are hard at work learning and performing their field show entitled "Innovations", featuring a Daft Punk Medley and Seven Nation Army!
Wantagh 8th Grade Band Receives GOLD at NYSSMA Majors!
Congratulations to our eighth grade band students and their director, Ms. Babcock, on achieving a GOLD rating at the NYSSMA Majors Adjudication Festival on May 22, 2018! We are so very proud of all your hard work and dedication! Following their performance, students enjoyed a visit to Shake Shack for a celebratory lunch!
World Renowned Composer Jack Stamp Visits Wantagh
World renowned composer Dr. Jack Stamp visited Wantagh Schools in early May. Our elementary, middle school, and high school bands all enjoyed the special opportunity to have workshops and clinics with Dr. Stamp. It was definitely an incredible opportunity for our young musicians to learn alongside one of the leading authorities in music composition.
Our High School Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Mrs. Mindy Dragovich, is having a piece commissioned by Dr. Stamp and it will be premiered at the spring concert on May 23rd at 7:30pm in the high school auditorium. The original composition is entitled A Soldier's Story; A Rendezvous with Death. We hope to see you there!
Wantagh HS Bands Perform in New Mexico!
The Wantagh Band travelled to Albuquerque and Santa Fe, New Mexico this past Thursday, March 7th and returned on Monday, March 12th. The Band visited El Dorado High School, where they exchanged with the El Dorado Wind Ensemble. The Wantagh Band performed a program selected specifically for the southwest corner of the country, including Mr. Aviles's work for percussion, H2O. The Band performed in a clinic session with a Professor from Northern Arizona University at Cibola High School. In Santa Fe, the Band visited the Georgia O'Keeff museum and Meow Wolf, and interactive artist collective. Highlights of the trip included horseback riding at Tamaya stables, a hike at Rinconada canyon, shopping in Old Town, and participating in a dinner mystery theatre.
3rd Annual Wantagh Chorus Day!
The 3rd Annual Wantagh Chorus Day was last Saturday at the High School. Students in 5th-12th grade spent the day together learning and performing Choral music! The Wantagh High School Choral Ensemble lead the rehearsals with help from Ms. Alessi, Mr. Carlin and Ms. Marinis. It was an awesome performance by all!
Award Winning A Cappella Group BACKTRACK Visits Wantagh High School!
Backtrack Vocals performed for our chorus students at Wantagh High School last Friday. This incredible a cappella group from NYC performed pop and broadway arrangements. After their performance they lead a workshop sharing their outrageous beat boxing talent with our students!
11th Annual Band Day!
Over 100 band students district-wide came together on January 27th to participate in the 12th Annual Wantagh Band Day! Under the direction of Mrs. Dragovich and Mr. Aviles, our elementary and middle school band students had the unique opportunity to play alongside our high school student musicians. Thank you to the High School Wind Ensemble and the High School Band Council for hosting such an amazing event for our younger students!
Composer Erik Morales works with HS Wind Ensemble
Erik Morales, composer, clinician, and award-winning trumpet player, came to work with the High School Wind Ensemble. Under the direction of Mrs. Dragovich, the Wind Ensemble has commissioned Erik Morales to arrange his trumpet quintet "Cityscapes" for full band. During his visit, the Wind Ensemble played through his arrangement to be part of the creative process. What an incredible opportunity for our talented high school musicians!
Wantagh High School Vocal Jazz Holiday Performance
The Wantagh High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mrs. Alessi, performed at the Wantagh Chamber of Commerce and Historical Society Holiday Event on Sunday, December 10th. Congratulations to our student musicians!
7th + 8th Grade Bands Receive Top Ratings At Trills and Thrills!
The 7th and 8th grade bands, under the direction of Ms. Babcock, attended the Trills and Thrills Music Festival on May 19, 2017. Following their adjudicated performances at Toms River North High School, where they received top ratings of "Excellent" and "Superior", respectively, students enjoyed an afternoon at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. Congratulations to the more than 100 student musicians that made Wantagh very proud!
WANTAGH ELEMENTARY at DUCKS STADIUM
Three of Wantagh Elementary School's music ensembles performed on field at a recent Long Island Ducks game! The Concert Band and Concert Orchestra each performed a piece of pre-game music and the Chorus sang the National Anthem. Thank you to Mr. Cockren, Ms. Damasco, and Mrs. Marinis for organizing this special evening of music! Congratulations Wantagh Elementary musicians!
WHS Chorus and Orchestra Go To Montreal!
WHS Vocal Jazz Ensemble's Elementary School Tour
The WHS Vocal Jazz Ensemble performed their concert program at all 3 elementary schools yesterday, April 27th. The elementary students were a wonderful audience! Ms. Alessi and her students would like to thank the elementary schools for welcoming their choral performance in their schools!
WHS Student Performs at NYSBDA Honors Festival
Elena Scarano was selected to perform with the New York State Band Directors Association Honors Festival in Liverpool, NY this past March 3-5. She is the first Wantagh student every selected for this honor. Elena performed Eb clarinet in the state's prestigious ensemble. Congratulations Elena!Chorus Day 2017
On Saturday March 4th, Wantagh choral students from grades five through twelve met at the High School to enjoy a day of choral music! The high school students led rehearsals for the younger students for a combined performance! The Choral Ensemble students, along with Ms. Alessi, Ms. Marinis, and Mr. Carlin conducted the songs for a memorable concert!
Many thanks to the Wantagh community for supporting this wonderful event!
11th Annual Band Day!On January 28, 2016, over 130 band students gathered for Wantagh's 11th Annual Band Day. Under the direction of Mrs. Dragovich, her wind ensemble students taught elementary and middle school band students "Music From Around the World”! The festival ended with a gala performance featuring the Wantagh High School Wind Ensemble playing alongside our young musicians. Congratulations to Mrs. Dragovich and the Wantagh Band Council students for an unforgettable event!
HS Musicians Perform at the Wantagh Preservation Society Holiday Festival!
The Wantagh High School String Ensemble and the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mrs. Langer and Mrs. Alessi, performed for the Wantagh Preservation Society Holiday Festival on Sunday, December 11, 2016. Congratulations to all our student musicians!
Wantagh HS Marching Band at the 2016 Newsday Festival!
Wantagh Elementary Concert Band Plays Ducks Stadium!For the third year in a row, the Wantagh Elementary Concert Band had the amazing opportunity to perform pregame music on field at a Long Island Ducks game June 2016. Congratulations students!
H.S. Musicians Go To Virginia!Over 200 of our high school musicians had the opportunity to travel to Virginia for a three-day to participate and compete in the annual Music In The Parks Festival! Congratulations to all our amazing student musicians!
First Annual Chorus Day 2016!
The Wantagh High School Choral Ensemble and Concert Choir, along with Ms. Alessi, Mrs. Marinis, and Ms. Good, hosted Wantagh's first Chorus Day on Saturday, March 5th. Students from 5th grade through 12th grade spent the day singing! Student leaders from the high school were in charge of rehearsals and taught the "choral-ography" to the younger students. All 68 vocalists came together for an afternoon gala Chorus Concert on stage in the High School auditorium! Thank you Wantagh Community for supporting this event!
Wantagh HS Student Selected To Attend Billy Joel Conference
Senior percussionist Dominick Romano was selected to accompany Sup’t of Schools Maureen Goldberg to attend the Billy Joel conference at C.W.Post, L.I.U.
In an effort to raise awareness for the Long Island School of the Arts and increase enrollment, Billy Joel makes an appeal to Long Island Administrators.
Billy Joel performed “Vienna, Baby Grand, as well as Moonlight Sonata, and James.” He showed intense passion for music which inspired the entire audience.
Band Day 2016
A look back at the 10th Annual Band Day at Wantagh Schools! Under the direction of Mrs. Dragovich and Mr. Aviles, the HS Wind Ensemble students performed alongside our elementary and middle school band musicians in an enormous gala concert! Even more special, these high school students served as mentors to the young musicians, teaching them their music throughout the day. Congratulations to all students involved in making this day such a huge success! Photos by high school student Christopher Mountanos.
HS Musicians Perform Around The Community
Wantagh HS Musicians are extremely active throughout the community. Some highlights from the year so far include:
- Wantagh HS Vocal Jazz Ensemble performed for the Wantagh Chamber of Commerce Tree Lighting
- Wantagh HS String Ensemble and Vocal Jazz Ensemble performed at the Wantagh retired teachers holiday meeting
- Wantagh HS String Ensemble and Vocal Jazz Ensemble performed at the Wantagh Historical society holiday event
- Tri-M Music Honor Society members performed at the Sunrise Mall, raising money for the Salvation Army.
Congratulations to all our fantastic Wantagh musicians!
Wantagh Elementary School 5th Grade Band Students Visit NY Philharmonic!The 5th grade band students at Wantagh Elementary School recently had the extraordinary opportunity to attend one of the NY Philharmonic's Young People's Concerts at their iconic concert hall at Lincoln Center. The NY Philharmonic is a world-renowned orchestra and the students had an amazing experience learning all about the music of Finland. Specifically, the concert focused on the works of Jean Sibelius, and also featured compositions by 3 remarkable young composers. These young composers are only in middle school, and impressed our students with their abilities to write works for an entire orchestra! A big thank you to Dr. Bonagura, Mrs. Zimmer, and Ms. Good for making this trip a reality!
Attention Band Day Participants!BAND DAY POSTPONED TO:
SUNDAY, JANUARY 31ST 12:00 – 5:30 p.m. Lunch will be served. Gala concert in the gymnasium at 5:00 p.m.
WHS Marching Band At the Newsday Festival!Congratulations to the Wantagh High School Marching Band and Varsity Dance Team on another successful performance at the annual Newsday Marching Band Festival on Wednesday, October 14th! The Wantagh Marching Band and Dance Team continued their tradition of excellence by performing in their 53rd Newsday Festival. The Wantagh High School Marching Band is one of only 13 bands to have played in every Newsday Festival since it's inception.
We Created A Practice Video! Check it out:Wantagh High School Jazz Ensemble Earns Awards at Herricks Jazz Festival!
We are so very proud of the Wantagh High School Jazz Ensemble! Under the direction of Mr. Aviles, they received three awards at the Herricks Jazz Festival, including best rhythm section, best trumpet section, and outstanding soloist (Matthew Saltzman). The High School Jazz Ensemble is looking forward to performing at the District Jazz Concert on March 31st!Wantagh Wind Ensemble Plays Carnegie Hall!The Wantagh High School Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Mrs. Mindy Dragovich, had the amazing opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall in NYC on March 6, 2015. Congratulations to our talented student musicians on a fabulous performance and for making Wantagh proud!Band Day 2015A look back at Wantagh's 9th Annual Band Day! A big thank you to Mrs. Dragovich, Mr. Aviles, the High School Band Council, and the Wantagh High School Wind Ensemble for making the day such a huge success!WHS Musicians Perform at Sunrise MallCongratulations to our high school Tri-M musicians whom, under the direction of Mrs. Alessi and Mrs. Langer, performed at the Sunrise Mall in order to raise money for the Salvation Army!WHS Musicians Perform at Preservation Society Holiday Fair
Congratulations to all the students who performed at the Wantagh Preservation Society Holiday Fair on December 14th! A big thank you to the Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mrs. Alessi, and Santa’s Saucy Strings, under the direction of Mrs. Langer, for your performance of holiday music!WHS Vocal Jazz Ensemble Tree Lighting PerformanceThe Wantagh High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mrs. Alessi, performed for the Wantagh Chamber of Commerce tree lighting ceremony on Sunday, December 7!Wantagh Music Fall Harvest Celebration!Thanks to everyone who came out to the very first Wantagh Music Fall Harvest Celebration at Nunley's Carousel!
WHS Orchestra & Chorus Pancake Fundraiser
The Wantagh High School Orchestra and Chorus had a fundraiser at Applebee's on Saturday, November 22 in order to raise money for their upcoming trip to Nashville!You're Invited...The Wantagh Music Fall Harvest Celebration!Wantagh HS Marching Band Performs at the Newsday Festival!
Congratulations to the Wantagh High School Marching Band and Varsity Dance Team on another successful performance at the annual Newsday Marching Band Festival! Under the direction of teachers Mrs. Mindy Dragovich, Mr. Dan Aviles, and Ms. Brianna Ruda, the Wantagh Marching Band and Dance Team continued their tradition of excellence in performing in their 52nd Newsday Festival. The Wantagh High School Marching Band is one of only 13 bands to have played in every Newsday Festival since it's inception.Drum Majors Mark Sales and Chris Mountanos led the band in their field show, featuring pieces
Feel This Moment,
Birdland.Wantagh Elementary Concert Band Plays At L.I. Ducks!
On Wednesday, June 4, the Wantagh Elementary Concert Band, under the direction of Mr. Cockren, performed The Thunderer Concert March by John Philip Sousa on field at the Long Island Ducks game! Congratulations students!Congratulations to all our All-County Students!
Wantagh H.S. Band Goes To Tortola!To see photos of the entire trip, see the Tortola Photo Album!To see a digital slideshow with the concert performance playing the the background, see the Tortola Movie on Vimeo!Wantagh Hosts All-County Division 3 RehearsalsWantagh Public Schools recently hosted the All-County Division 3 rehearsals. Approximately 500 seventh and eighth grade music students from across Nassau County participated in the annual music festival, performing in various ensembles such as chorus, band, orchestra, and jazz band. A big thank you to all the Tri-M Music Honor Society students for their tireless efforts in setting up and cleaning up all the chairs, stands, and various percussion equipment for every rehearsal. Thank you also to the High School Band Wagon volunteers for serving pizza and snacks during the dinner break!Congratulations Wantagh Musicians!Congratulations to all our Wantagh student musicians that performed in one of our many concerts throughout the Winter Concert Series! Pictured here are 6th grade band and 8th grade band, under the direction of Ms. Babcock.Mrs. Dragovich visits the Wantagh Elementary Concert Band
Elementary Musicians Perform at Barnes & Noble
Select young musicians from all three elementary schools performed at the PTA fundraiser at Barnes & Noble on Saturday, December 7, 2013. Fifth grade flautists from Wantagh Elementary School, under the direction of band teacher Mr. Chris Cockren, as well as fifth grade violinists from Wantagh Elementary School, under the direction of orchestra teacher Mr. Ryan Walter, all performed various holiday songs. Select members from both the Mandalay and Forest Lake Chorus, under the direction of chorus teacher Mrs. Stephanie Haas, performed two full choral selections. Congratulations to our elementary student musicians!High School Musicians Perform for Wantagh Preservation Society
Under the direction of teachers Mrs. Dina Langer and Mrs. Jennifer Alessi, select string students and vocal jazz students performed holiday music at the Wantagh Preservation Society’s Holiday Open House on Sunday, December 8, 2013. Congratulations to string students Gillian Chowske, Nicole Palas, Sophia Janotha, Sophia Liu, Lauren Bednor, and Jen Rodriguez, as well as all the vocal jazz performers!Tri-M Music Honor Society Performs at Sunrise Mall to Raise Money for the Salvation Army
Vocal Jazz Ensemble Performs at Tree Lighting
The Wantagh High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mrs. Jennifer Alessi, performed at the Wantagh Chamber of Commerce Tree Lighting on Sunday, December 1. They sang various carols, under the direction of student conductors Shayna Held and Julia Lantier. Congratulations Vocal Jazz Ensemble students!Stony Brook University Brass Trio Visits Wantagh Elementary
Wantagh Elementary trumpet, horn, and trombone students were thrilled to be a part of an interactive performance and master class by the Stony Brook Brass Trio. Students learned about how to actively listen to musical performances and recognize melodies and motifs, as well as learn about specific practice techniques that they can incorporate into their at-home practicing.Musician Douglas Jones Visits Wantagh Music Students
On Tuesday, October 29, professional musician and tubist Douglas Jones visited Wantagh's euphonium and tuba students throughout the district. Pictured here is his time spent with the elementary low brass students in a special master class held at Wantagh Elementary School. Mr. Jones gave a performance of several pieces, and guided students through interactive listening exercises of describing what they heard in the music. Mr. Jones then spoke about how he practices at home to prepare for concerts and had students play along with him. At the conclusion of their time together, students learned the basics of "multi-phonics", a unique technique of producing two sounds simultaneously on a low brass instrument. As a final encore, students were super excited to hear Mr. Jones transform his tuba into a beat-boxing machine! Thank you to Douglas Jones for sharing your love and passion for euphonium and tuba with our students!Douglas Jones biography:
With a remarkable career of musical accomplishments since his high school graduation in 2009, Douglas Jones today is increasingly active as an orchestral, chamber, and freelance musician in northern Ohio where he currently lives. By the age of 14, Douglas Jones was studying at the Juilliard School. As a full scholarship recipient, he performed regularly with the Honors Brass Quintet and the Juilliard Pre-College Orchestra. In 2010, Douglas was one of only two Americans invited to compete in the International Performers Competition for Tuba in Brno, Czech Republic. Recent highlights include concerts with City Music Cleveland a Cleveland based dynamic contemporary ensemble, “5-1,” as well as with “Kyōdai Brass.” With the Kyōdai Brass, Douglas has held fellowships at the Norfolk and Aspen music festivals, performed on Cleveland's WCLV live broadcast and put on regular recitals throughout Northeast Ohio. Highlights of Kyōdai’s upcoming season include residencies with the Detroit and Cleveland Chamber Music Societies along with recitals throughout the greater Cleveland area. As a member of the Kyōdai Brass, Douglas has studied chamber music with members from the Empire Brass, American Brass Quintet, and the New York Brass Quintet. His additional chamber music studies include mentorship from Annie Fullard of the Cavani String Quartet and Raymond Stewart of the Meridian Arts Ensemble. An avid support of public school music education, Douglas has lead dozens of outreach programs throughout the country as a member of the Kyōdai Brass and as a soloist. He is in demand as an educator through private instruction and public master classes.Wantagh High School Marching Band Performs at the Newsday Marching Band Festival
Congratulations to the Wantagh High School Marching Band and Varsity Dance Team on another successful performance at the annual Newsday Marching Band Festival! Under the direction of teachers Mrs. Mindy Dragovich, Mr. Zach DeVries, and Mrs. Joan Mirabella, the Wantagh Marching Band and Dance Team continued their tradition of excellence in performing in their 51st Newsday Festival. The Wantagh High School Marching Band is one of only 13 bands to have played in every Newsday Festival since it's inception.Drum Majors Alyssa Kelly, Jaclyn Onufrey, Bridget Wiffler led the band in their field show, entitled Gonna Fly Now, featuring pieces "Theme From E.T.", "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy", and "Gonna Fly Now, theme from Rocky".
Wantagh High School Marching Band Performs at HomecomingWantagh High School Music Students Selected to All-State Winter Conferencepictured above are high school musicians Andrew Bloniarz, Julianna Nerone, Patrick Constant, Matt Saltzman, and Mark Sales with Supervisor of Fine and Performing Arts, Ms. Kelly Good, and their teachers, Mrs. Dragovich, Mrs. Alessi, and Mrs. Langer.
Five of Wantagh High School's music students were selected to represent Wantagh at the prestigious NYSSMA All-State Winter Conference.These students will proudly represent Wantagh Schools on December 5-8, 2013, as they travel to Rochester, NY to perform with the top high school musicians from across our state. Being selected to participate in a NYSSMA All-State music ensemble is an incredible honor and is reserved for the state's elite high school musicians.Being selected for an All-State music ensemble is quite rigorous. These students practiced their required NYSSMA Level VI solos for countless hours and worked tirelessly with their music teachers and accompanist in order to prepare for their audition last Spring. With over 6,500 students auditioning state-wide, we are very proud of our All-State musicians! Congratulations to the following students:
Andrew Bloniarz, Violoncello, All-State String Orchestra
Julianna Nerone, violin, All-State Symphony Orchestra
Matt Saltzman, trumpet, All-State Wind Ensemble
Mark Sales, tenor saxophone, All-State Jazz alternate
Patrick Constant, Tenor, All-State Mixed Chorus alternate2013 Winter Concert SeriesMonday, December 9th at 7 p.m. - Middle School Orchestras ConcertWednesday, December 11th at 7:30 p.m. - High School #1 Concert*Monday, December 16th at 7 p.m. - Middle School Bands ConcertTuesday, December 17th at 7 p.m. - Middle School Choruses ConcertThursday, December 19th at 7:30 p.m. - High School #2 Concert**Monday, January 13th at 7 p.m. - Forest Lake Elementary ConcertTueday, January 21st at 7 p.m. - Wantagh Elementary ConcertThursday, January 23rd at 7 p.m. - Mandalay Elementary Concert* Concert Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra, Concert Choir, Choral Ensemble** Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind EnsembleWHS JAZZ ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCEThe High School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mr. Aviles, gave a wonderful Budget Day performance for Wantagh residents at the train station on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. Thank you to Mr. Aviles and all our very talented Jazz Ensemble musicians!Supervisor of Fine & Performing Arts:Kelly Good516-781-8004