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Music in our Schools

Championships – 2006 – A parent’s perspective





The conversations about MAC  Championships starts early in the year.  Guaranteed you will hear it discussed more than once over the summer during band camp.  Championships isn’t just about the time of their performance, it is a whole day affair.






As for Championship Breakfast, well…………………even earlier.  I would say before this school year ends we will be talking about it to all the new incoming band parents of next year.   Championship Breakfast is the band’s Pep Rally, put on by the band parents.  We feel it is a very important start to the very important day that the students have worked so hard for.






Usually around 8 or 8:30 am, a group of parents meet at the high school near Culinary to get ready for the festivities.  This year was no different.  There were current parents, alumni parents and even alumni students there to help.  Busy little bee’s we all were.  Scrambling the eggs, mixing the batter just right for the pancakes, as well as making sure the Chef put those hash browns on the grill early enough so that they would be well done!  While all that was going on, there is other prep work being done – coffee & hot chocolate has to be made, tables need to be set - oh and let us not forget the decorating and motivational signs that MUST be hung everywhere to show our students just how wonderful they are and how proud we are!









Ok, everything is set and we are waiting for the students to get to the school.  Serving time is 10:30.  All the servers (aka parents) put on their garnet bow ties and are dressed in black pants and a white shirt.  We line the hallway just before the tables start and we stand and wait with cameras in our hands and tears in our eyes.  For some, this is their last year, others were cutting onions, and then there are just those that get teary eyed for every little thing!






As the kids round the corner by the choir room we all start clapping, cheering and taking pictures.  Some of them stop, look and run the other way!   LOL – Must be Freshman!  They finally all make it in and we are trying to get them seated so we can start serving them.  Of course, they must stop and look at all the motivational signs and pictures on the way – after all that is why they are there!   Eat and Eat and Eat!  The orange juice and milk was flowing.  The trays of bagels, pastry’s & yogurt were being passed around.  The kids were loving it.  Then the really good stuff was ready and it was served – bacon, eggs, sausage, pancakes & hash browns.  I am sure I am forgetting something – there was food everywhere.  Pizzels don’t forget the pizzels. Lol!!








After the students had their fill, there was a little treat for them.  Ok, well maybe some didn’t think it was a treat!  LOL  A group of parents, I am not sure on the count – maybe 14 –20, decided that they wanted to put on a show for the band.  So, with a Drum (Zazoo?) Major and all, they marched out to the tables with their Kazoos in hand and played several small snippets from Go West!  The roar of laughter was so amazing – I am not sure that everyone was able to hear the wonderful Kazoo players! LOL  They ended their show with the infamous Naugy High Greyhound song.









It was now time for the Drum Major Speeches.  Suzie, Jeff & Andrew all said their thing.  They talked about the day, the practices, the band credit, remember whens and so on.  The three of them were absolutely awesome and once again some of the parents were getting teary eyed.  Next came the student teacher, Dave Jackman (or DJ as some of the kids call him).  This was a first for Dave and from his speech I would say he truly enjoyed it.  Then of course it was Mr. Kogut’s turn.  Or shall we call him Daddy Kogut?? As someone in one of their speeches referred to him as!  As always, Daddy Kogut did his thing.  He thanked everyone and their brother from staff, to students to band parents.   He talked about the practices, hard work and dedication that everyone puts in and he talked about how proud he was of everyone and what an excellent job they had done so far.  He reminded them to go out and do the best that they could, not so they could win at Championships, but so they could come off the field knowing they gave it their all and felt to themselves that they did their very best.  He then quoted lines from a song:  “The leader of the band is tired… His eyes are growing old.  But his blood runs through my instrument and his song is in my soul—My life has been a poor attempt to imitate the man.  I’m just a living legacy to the leader of the band.”  He then said how proud he was that they were part of his legacy.  For those who still had dry eyes before he spoke, they weren’t anymore!!









OK, enough of the mushy stuff!  Speeches are done, time to get to work, go watch the tape, practice for 3 hours and then on the bus they go!




The weather wasn’t perfect – but it wasn’t raining and it wasn’t below freezing, so we really couldn’t complain.  The kids were practicing and the parents were cleaning up the remnants of breakfast, sorting uniforms, sewing on buttons, and polishing helmets!  3:30 came and practice ended.  Time to load the truck!!!  It’s almost here!  Some of the students decided they needed more to eat (like the Guard – who I think must have had a 5 course meal!) and some were too nervous to eat or just not hungry.


Quick, quick – get your uniforms, check your bag and check it twice – make sure you have everything!  Guard girls – get your hair braided, (who knew so many parents could French braid?) put on your make-up and let’s go!  Everyone has done what was needed to be done and it is time to get on the buses.


I am sure there were probably several more pep talks – but I was not there for them.  Maybe one of the bus parents will share that with us.


Everyone arrives safely in Bridgeport  - at Kennedy Stadium.  As we pull up and park they are just announcing the scores from the first half of the show.  The excitement is building for us parents now, so I can only imagine how the students must feel.  While band season was tiring and from a calendar standpoint looked to be long………….it FLEW by!  We are here, Championships, is it possible?  All the flag sewing and competitions and drama and we are finally here!


Inside we go.  Need to grab some food and find some good seats.  That should be fairly easy since we got here when the first half was ending.  The food lines were long and we were hyper – need to get our seats!  Quick- hotdogs and popcorn will have to do – grab that seat – go high up!!!!!!!!


We sit; we wait…………………………Oh my goodness – class fours are starting!!!  How exciting!!!  We watch, we listen, we get nervous……………………wow, so far the bands that we have heard have improved since the last time.  I am sure our kids did too. 

Time for Naugatuck to enter the field!!!!!!!!!!!!! WWWWWWWHhhhhhhhhhhooooooooooo HHHHHHHHHHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.  Major clapping, yelling, cow bells ringing, balloon waving parents going nuts!  This is it!  Ok, snapping pictures, watching Mr. Kogut talking to the kids on the field.  Wow, what’s going on, he is pointing to the field?  Is something wrong?  Did they go farther then they should have?  Who knows – we are in the stands, we can’t hear him.  The Pit parents are setting up pit, everything is looking good.  Mr. Kogut leaves the field and the Naugatuck Greyhound Marching Band takes the field!  The Drum Major indicates that the band is ready.


OMG – they were just absolutely awesome!!!!!!!  Of course, being a proud parent it is hard for me not to think of them as awesome, but gee whiz!!!!!  They were on their game.  Of course, we as parents know all the music and how it should sound, well in our minds anyhow!! LOL   - They kicked butt!  WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Now, we have to sit and wait.  3 More class fours to still go and then class fives before we get to awards.  This is going to be a long night!


The kids go for pictures, put their instruments away and change into Class B uniforms.  Then off for some food and grab their seat in the stands. 


Finally it is time for awards.  Some people are sitting, some are standing.  We have our group of kids with the Naugy Rules shirts on as well as having our big Naugy Flag!  They are getting everyone pumped.  Running up and down the track with the flag!!!


The first awards were for the 2006 MAC Scholarship Awards and one of Naugy’s students got one – Kyle Wilson!!  Next came some of the “Outstanding” Awards for Class IV.  OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Naugatuck got Outstanding Drum Majors and Outstanding Percussion!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We cannot control our excitement at this point (we really can be worse then the kids!).


6th place with an 85.50 Fitch

5th place with a 90.55 Jonathon Law

4th place with a 91.25 Port Chester

3rd place with a 92.40 Brien McMahon


More screaming, more yelling!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Wooooo hoooooooo


2nd place with a 93.25 NAUGATUCK HIGH SCHOOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


1st place with a 96.05 Newtown


I would like to say congratulations to all of the schools for doing an excellent job! 

As a very proud parent of a student at Naugatuck High School, I would like to say……..WOW! AWESOME! OUTSTANDING JOB – TO ALL THE NAUGATUCK HIGH SCHOOL MARCHING BAND MEMBERS!!!  WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

We are all so very proud of each and every one of you!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Mrs. K

Click here for more pictures of Championship Breakfast

Click here for more pictures of Championships














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