By Josh LaBella
The West Haven High School band will be playing their first concert in the new auditorium Thursday at 7:30. Band director Cassandra Marcella
Marcella, who has been in her position for 18 years, said this is the bands first concert of the year, having just finished marching season on Thanksgiving. She said the band has been practicing their pieces for about four weeks.
The band will be performing “Celebration” by Mannheim Steamroller, “Wizards in Winter” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and a medley from the Polar Express as well as other songs.
In continuance with tradition, the concert will benefit a local charity.
“This year we are collecting items at the door for the West Haven Animal Shelter,” said Marcella. “We always have [donated to a charity]. I graduated from the high school in 1995 and I took over from Skip Crabtree, who had been here 39 years. This is how he did it. I am an alumnus from the program so I have kept most of our traditions pretty much intact.”
Marcella said the items the shelter is looking for include dog and cat food, treats, toys, towels, blankets without stuffing, newspapers, cat litter and cleaning supplies. She added that the shelter does not want tennis balls or blankets with stuffing.
Admission for the concert is $5 or $2 with a donation. According to Marcella, while the band has never charged admission before, the size of the band has “dramatically increased” this year – the reason for the change.
Marcella said the band is excited to be playing in the new auditorium, which was just finished this year. She described the facility as “state of the art” and said it is taking time to get used to the acoustics.
“Once we learn to use it to its full potential, I think it’s going to be wonderful for our kids,” said the band director.