Tag Archives: Webster Marching Band

Webster Marching Band honored

2 Dec

Four weeks ago, the Webster Marching Band did something the district’s band hadn’t accomplished in more than 30 years. On Oct. 31 at the Carrier Dome, the Pride of Webster blew away the competition and took home the title of State Champion of the Large School 2 Division. (Click here to read the blog I wrote about that.)

On Wednesday Dec. 1, the band was honored for that outstanding achievement with both an official proclamation from the New York State Assembly, and citations from the New York State Senate.

The ceremony, held in the Schroeder High School auditorium, was short but meaningful for the more than 100 band members, parents and staff who attended.

After a welcome message from Webster CSD Superintendent Brian Neenan, the band’s student and staff members were invited to the podium to accept personal congratulations from Supt. Neenan and Sen. Pam Helming, who presented each with a citation following the ceremony.

In her remarks, Sen. Helming recalled her own experience playing an instrument in high school, and remined everyone that among all the extracurriculars students can choose in school, “Band is one of the longest seasons there is. “You start in the spring…then parade season in the summer, then the fall, those intense competitions. It’s a long, long season.”

Next, Iris Bieri, chief of staff for NYS Assemblymember Jen Lunsford, came to the podium to present an official proclamation (which you can read at the end of this blog). She reiterated Sen. Helming’s remarks about the kind of commitment it takes to be a marching band member, saying,

It’s a tremendous feat and I think you should be proud it’s been so long. But on top of it you won at a time of extreme difficulty in our community, our state, our country, our world. You persevered through a global pandemic. You were dedicated, you worked together, you practiced day in and day out and you overcame the odds at a particularly challenging time. So I wanted to acknowledge that not only were you the first team in Webster to win in over 30 years, but in a particularly challenging time as well. 

Finally, Webster Marching Band Director Jerbrel Bowens approached the microphone, to a standing ovation. He, too, remembered his high school days, when he was a band member for Webster Schroeder.

He said,

I remember sitting in this exact room, in those exact seats which feels like forever ago, 2011, and I had the same dream that all of you had as a marching band member, and that is to win our class. I think there’s been many students sitting in these seats in this same room with that same dream, and you should feel extremely proud of yourself for accomplishing something that 30 years of students and staff have always wanted to achieve.

It’s bigger than you think it is. 

Bowens also put in a plug for his staff members and the parent booster organization which has supported the band 24/7.  

I asked him why he thought this year was different from his first year as director in 2019. What was it that launched the band into first place in 2021?

He thought that, having to take 2020 off due to COVID, he had the time to design a program tailored specifically for this year’s students. But I suspect there was something less tangible in the mix, judging from a comment he made to Supt. Neenan back in October.

“It was after the Autumn Fanfare,” Neenan said. “Jerbrel and I were talking and Jerbrel said to me, ‘I have a good feeling about this group.'” He was so right.

The trophy and proclamation will be displayed somewhere in the district. The proclamation can be hung permanently, but the trophy has to be shared; each year’s winning school can keep it only until the following year’s competition. Unless they win it again, of course.

And they will.

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Below is the text of the proclamation:

It read….

Whereas in 1983 band director Paul Magin created the Webster Marching Band, which only participated in parades in its early years; and

Whereas the band is made up of seventh through twelfth grade students, all of whom come from the four secondary buildings in the Webster Central School District; and

Whereas the band competed in its first NYSFBC competition in 1985 and has participated annually ever since; and 

Whereas the band has also participated in several national championships, where it has been a finalist amongst some of the top bands in the country; and 

Whereas in 2011 the band members were named grand champions of the Outback Bowl in Tampa, Florida, and

Whereas in 2021, for the first time in 31 years, the Webster Marching Band brought home the NYSFBC championship plaque as well as their division’s Governor’s Cup; and now, therefore, be it

Proclaimed that I, Assemblymember Jen Lunsford, do hereby honor the Webster Marching Band for their strong work ethic and well-earned victory in the 2021 NYSCFB competition. 

Webster Marching Band is #1 in the state!

2 Nov

This is why they’re called “The Pride of Webster.”

On Saturday, our very own Webster Marching Band blew away the competition at this year’s state championships, held at the Carrier Dome, earning the title of State Champion of the Large School 2 Division. It’s the first time the band has held the title in more than 30 years.

The band competed against eight other schools in their LS2 division, who attended from all over the state. At the end of the day, only 11 points separated the nine schools. But Webster stood alone at the top, with 90.8 points, a full 1.7 points ahead of second-place West Seneca. 

It was a very satisfying end to a VERY long day for the band members and their parent helpers.  

“Championship day is a FULL day,” wrote Band Director Jerbrel Owens. “We start early in the morning with a hearty breakfast and we then take the long drive to Syracuse. We are on a tight schedule so the students need to move quickly, warm-up, and move again until it’s our time to enter the Carrier Dome.” 

Bowens, himself a Webster grad and former Marching Band member, wrote the winning program, called “Unbroken.” 

Writing it was very fun, but most importantly it was written specifically for our students, which makes them successful as well as challenges them a bit. I believe that this is where the success began. We also work closely with a drill writer who wrote the drill just for our students which made it even more successful. We as staff gave them a “vehicle” and the students drove away with it and won!

I am honored to have written this show for them. 

Bowens’ long history with the band made it easier for him to create the perfect program for this year’s musicians and performers.

I marched in this program from 2009 to 2011, and I came back in 2016 to teach the drumline. This year was different. The same kids that were 6th graders when I came back were the student leaders this year, who I believe led their sections to success. All of the students understood the goal, agreed on that goal and achieved that goal.

This is all on the students. When the time starts at each show, it isn’t the staff anymore, it’s all on the kids. They deserve all of the applause for their actions as a TEAM. 

The Webster Marching Band, now in its 36th season, is made up of 66 student musicians and performers drawn from all four Webster secondary schools: Spry Middle School, Willink Middle School, Webster Schroeder High School, and Webster Thomas High School. Each band season begins with extensive training in the spring, followed by the summer parade season, and finally an eight-week competitive season. The band participated in six competitions this year, and not only did the Pride of Webster win every single one of them (also an historical achievement), they improved their score every week. Breaking the 90 barrier was a fitting end to an outstanding season.

After the performance, the band’s seniors and drum major assembled on the field with the other bands to hear the scores and receive their award. They were welcomed home on Halloween evening with a Webster police and fire department escort to celebrate their championship.

Congratulations to the all of the Webster Marching Band musicians and performers. Your hard work payed off big time. You truly do make Webster proud.

For more coverage of this great accomplishment, check out this video from Channel 8 WROC-TV.

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Autumn Fanfare is a show like no other

4 Oct

The Webster Marching Band’s annual Autumn Fanfare takes place this Saturday Oct. 9, and it’s something you really don’t want to miss.

I attended my first Autumn Fanfare in 2018, which is kind of embarrassing to admit since this year marks the band’s 35th annual Fanfare. But I’d heard so much about it, and mentioned it in my blog countless times, so I decided I really needed to see it for myself.

And let me tell you, it was outstanding.

Autumn Fanfare is what the Marching Band — the “Pride of Webster” — calls the field show and competition it hosts every year around this time. Bands from all over the Rochester area come together for an evening of musical performance. Each band crafts a different presentation each year to showcase its musical and marching skills. But these perfomances also include lots of theatrics, complete with elaborate set pieces and detailed story lines. (Click here to read the post-performance blog I wrote in 2018.)

This year’s Pride of Webster theme is “Unbroken.” The press release explained,

Often in our lives, we find ourselves trapped in a routine/repetitive cycle with no end in sight. Within the vicious cycle, we experience anger, sadness, and self-doubt. The fight to break free from the cycle can be heard in movements one and two. However, when we finally break that cycle we will be free to be who we want to be and we will come out of that cycle unbroken.

Webster’s performance begins at 6:26 p.m., and will include original music written by Band Director and Music Arranger Jerbrel Bowens. The show will also welcome marching band competitors from Greece, East Irondequoit, Medina, Lancaster, and Victor.

Autumn Fanfare will take place at the Webster Schroeder Stadium, 875 Ridge Road. Gates open at 5 p.m., the National Anthem will play at 6 p.m., and the first band will take the field at 6:15 p.m. The evening will conclude with recognition of the Webster Marching Band seniors and awards.

I should add that I just found out that the Pride of Webster is currently ranked #1 IN THE STATE in their class! That’s how good these musicians are.

Tickets are $7 in advance, available at Hegedorn’s, and $9 at the door. It’s a great evening out for the whole family.

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Webster Museum excitement, and other mailbag news

17 Sep

The Village of Webster’s latest turn on the local television news stations leads today’s mailbag.

Spectrum News recently got wind that the Webster Museum has just reopened, and reporter Wendy Mills visited several days ago to find out more. She met with Museum president Tom Pellett, from whom she got a thorough tour of the facility and a great interview.

The piece aired earlier this week on Spectrum, but has also been posted to the website, You can click here to see it.

And since we’re talking about the Webster Museum, now’s a great time to remind everyone that the museum’s annual Barn Sale is taking place this weekend, Friday and Saturday Sept. 17 and 18, at 394 Phillips Rd.

This really cool sale features vintage farm goods and furniture, toys, books, holiday goods, household goods, jewelry, glassware and more. You’re sure to find something to love.

The sale will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, and everything is half price on Saturday — or you can fill a bag for $5. This is the museum’s biggest operating expense fundraiser, so stop on by, find a treasure, and help them out.


A few notes from the Town of Webster:

  • The Town’s spray parks are now closed for the season. We can hope that summer is not quite over yet, but even if it hits 90 again, the kids can’t cool off at the spray parks until next year.
  • If you’re tired of putting up with abandoned homes in your area, the Town of Webster has given you some recourse to get them taken care of. If you suspect a home in your neighborhood has been abandoned, you can report it to the Town using a link found at this website. The site will also give you more information on what actually contitutes an abandoned home.
  • The section of Lake Rd. between Shipbuilder’s Creek and Stoney Creek Run is now open again after completion of a three-month construction project. You can check the status of upcoming construction projects and road closures on the Town of Webster website.

Looking ahead to October, Rochester Challenger Miracle Field will host an Art Exhibit on Oct. 1 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at CDS Life Transitions, 860 Hard Rd. in Webster. This will be a silent auction featuring artwork created by local artists with physical and developmental challenges.

The Pride of Webster, Webster Marching Band will hold its 35th annual Autumn Fanfare on Saturday Oct. 9 from 5 to 9 p.m. This is always a spectacular display of talent from several schools in the Greater Rochester area, and if you haven’t seen one of these shows before, you should attend this year. The theme is “Unbroken,” which should conjure up all sorts of special props and effects. More info to come as the date gets closer.

Also that same evening, the Village of Webster will host its third Family Game Night and Beer Garden on West Main St. More to come about this as well, but if you can’t make it to the Autumn Fanfare, put this on your calendars.

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Racing ducks and returning bottles: busy weekend in store

2 Jun

Lots of fun stuff happening this weekend I want to tell you about this morning.

The first is a brand-new fundraiser for the Webster Comfort Care Home (WCCH).

It’s the First Annual WCCH Duck Derby, this Saturday June 5 at the Beeches Pavilion at Webster Park. Volunteers will conduct a race of rubber ducks down Mill Creek. Participants can purchase ducks for $5 each, then cheer them on as they ride the “rapids.” Cash prizes will be awarded for first, second and third place ducks. Ducks can be purchased online at www.webstercomfortcare.org.

This is a family-friendly event for children and adults of all ages. Child-friendly activities and refreshments will be available while ducks are racing.

The fun begins at 10 a.m. For more details, and to read more about this terrific organization, visit the Webster Comfort Care Home Facebook page.

By the way, put this one on your calendar, too: the WCCH “Lift Your Spirits” Wine and Beer Tasting Event is BACK this year, on Friday October 22 at ArtisanWorks.

Webster Marching Band Bottle and Can Drive

Don’t forget about this weekend’s bottle and can drive on Saturday to benefit the Webster Marching Band. This will be a drop-off drive only. Just pack up your returnables and swing by Willink Middle School on Publisher’s Parkway between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to drop them off. There will be plenty of worker-bees there to help you, so you won’t even have to get out of the car.

If can’t make it to Willink on Saturday, they’ll come to you. Simply call the Bottle and Can Hotline, 24/7 at 234-8684 (option 1), leave a message and they’ll call you back for details. You can also drop off returns at any time to area bottle return companies (Can Kings, Nickleback, Upstate Bottle Return) and just tell them to credit the Webster Marching Band for the return.

Dancing for a Cause

A big shout-out to Denise Baller and Dancing With Denise for not only shining a spotlight on her dancers during her school’s upcoming recital, but also on a terrific local organization, Bella’s Bumbas.

At the studio’s backyard dance recital this Saturday, Denise and her students’ families will present Bella’s Bumbas with a donation to cover the cost of building several pint-sized Bella’s Bumbas wheelchairs for children with mobility issues.

On the Dancing With Denise Facebook page, Denise writes, “It’s a wonderful, teachable moment to show my students how spreading compassion and love can make little ones who aren’t as mobile ‘feel better when they are dancing’!”

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Webster community mailbag

16 May

The Webster Marching Band could REALLY use your returnables this year.

Due to the pandemic, the band hasn’t been able to do any of their usual fundraisers this year.  But they’re planning to at least hold their bottle and can drive, as a drop-off event.

So start saving up your bottles, then on Saturday June 5, swing by Willink Middle School on Publisher’s Parkway between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. to drop them off. There will be plenty of worker-bees there to help you, so you won’t even have to get out of the car.

If you’re not able to go to Willink that Saturday, they’ll come to you. Simply call the Bottle and Can Hotline, 24/7 at 234-8684 (option 1), leave a message and they’ll call you back for details. You can also drop off their returns at any time to area bottle return companies (Can Kings, Nickleback, Upstate Bottle Return) and just tell them to credit the Webster Marching Band for the return.


The Webster Aquatic Center will host its Webster Youth Triathlon on Sunday June 6.

The event, which includes a swim, bike and run, is for children from kindergarten through age 16, and is scaled according to age. Kindergartners, for example, will swim 25 yards, bike a mile and run a 1/4 mile. Older kids will swim 150 yards, bike 4 miles and run a mile. There’s also a team relay option.

The swim will take place at the Aquatic Center, 875 Ridge Rd., and the run and bike portions on the Webster Schroeder campus.

Cost is $15, and registration begins at 8 a.m. at the Webster Aquatic Center. The first 250 participants will receive a goody bag and t-shirt.

To register and for more details, call the Webster Aquatic Center at 585-670-1087. You can also email race director Missy Whipple with questions, at missyw26.2@gmail.com.


This is an interesting bit of history which I recently received from the Webster Museum, where the folks are anxiously awaiting society’s return to normal so they can share this kind of stuff with everyone in person again!

WEBSTER HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE BECOMES MAYOR OF ROCHESTER…

….. in 1895. That was just the beginning of a forty-year political career.

Born in Webster to farmers Chadwick and Rhonda Lewis, Merton Elmer Lewis (1861-1937) studied law with James B. Perkins. He fathered six children during his two marriages and some of his family remained in the Rochester area.

A staunch Republican, Merton would serve as Rochester mayor, delegate to the New York State Assembly and Senate, New York State Attorney General, United States Attorney and was considered by his party for nomination as a New York State gubernatorial candidate. He returned to private practice in 1919.

The Webster Museum and Historical Society thanks Frank Calandra, local political historian and collector, for introducing us to this Webster resident and to Mr. Lewis’ illustrious career.

When we can safely open, museum volunteers will return to welcome you all to stop in to “meet” other interesting Webster residents of yesteryear.


Finally, a few notes from the library, the first one well timed for this week’s beautiful weather when everyone wants to get out and start planting.

  • Small Space Gardening: A Zoom Program, Tuesday May 18, 7 p.m.

Gardening requires planning and preparation, especially if your garden is as big as a match box! This program will cover small space gardening techniques and tips to help maximize your garden’s productivity. Also covered will be site selection, vegetable varieties, soil preparation, and crop rotation to assure fresh and nutritious food for you. Presented by Jarmila Haseler, an Ag & Food Systems Educator from the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Monroe County.

Registration is required. Click here to do so. The Zoom invitation will be sent the day before the program.

  • Webster Public Library is now offering the streaming service called HOOPLA for all Webster library patrons. You can use Hoopla to access music, TV shows, movies, audiobooks, ebooks, and comics/graphic novels. Just download the materials straight onto your phone or tablet, or even stream them to your TV instantly!

Click here to learn more and get started.

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Webster community mailbag

2 May

Grab a cup of coffee and settle in. This is a long one.

Webster Arboretum Plant Sale returns

The Webster Arboretum Association, together with local growers and local garden clubs will host the 2021 Webster Arboretum Plant Sale on Saturday May 8 from 8 a.m. to noon.

A tremendous variety of beautiful, healthy plants from standard to uncommon will be available including annuals, dwarf conifers, hostas, geraniums, tomatoes, and more. It’s a great way to celebrate spring and get some live plants perfectly suited for your garden. And don’t forget … Mother’s Day is Sunday!

The sale will be held at the Webster Arboretum, 1700 Schlegel Rd. Webster.

Museum’s Websterscapes Gallery needs you!

The Webster Museum’s Websterscapes Gallery is looking for photos of skyscapes, landscapes, waterscapes or artwork depicting the many beautiful places in Webster. Your photos will be featured on the museum website alongside other works of photographic art from your Webster neighbors.

The gallery is getting everyone’s art appreciation juices flowing for the Ward Mann exhibit, being readied for when the museum can safely open again.

Send your photos to the gallery by email to photos@webstermuseum.org or upload directly on the museum website.


Speaking of art…

The Webster Art Club’s Spring Art Show is now on display at the Webster Public Library through May 27. Stop in during the library’s normal business hours to view the nice variety of artwork created by your fellow Webster community members.

Pop-up Book Sales

Also coming soon to the Webster Public Library, the Friends of the Library will be holding Pop-up Book Sales in the parking lot beginning next week and running for several weeks this summer and even into the fall, weather permitting.

These sales are full of surprises and unexpected treasures. Hardcover books are $1, and paperback books are 2/$1. Cash and checks will be accepted, and please bring your own bags.

The first pop-up sales will be Thursday May 13 and Saturday May 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. In accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, masks and social distancing will be required. All monies raised will be used to support library programs and initiatives.

Brighten your mood, borrow a lamp

The Webster Public Library never ceases to amaze with the variety of things you can borrow. They now have portable light therapy lamps available for borrowing for up to three weeks.

The Verilux light therapy lamps (or “Happy Lights”) imitate outdoor natural light and are intended to improve mood and overall sense of well-being. It’s amazing what a little bit of light can do. Sunlight improves our mood, makes us feel more optimistic, gives us energy, and promotes better sleep. And we all know how little sunlight we get here in Rochester.

Ask for the lights at the circulation desk, and borrow a little sunshine.

The Webster Public Library is located at 980 Ridge Rd., at the back of the plaza.

Absentee Ballot Applications Available for Budget Vote, BOE Election


The Webster CSD’s Annual Budget Vote and Election of Board of Education Candidates is slated for Tuesday, May 18. All voting is scheduled to take place in-person, 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Webster Schroeder High School gynmasium, Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Road.

Qualified voters of the district who will be unable to attend the polls on the day of the vote may wish to use an absentee ballot. Applications for absentee ballots must be received by the district clerk at least seven days before the vote (if the ballot is being mailed to the voter) or the day before the vote if it’s being picked up in person.

Absentee ballot applications are available online at or from District Clerk Cynthia Cushman, 119 South Avenue (third floor of the Spry Middle School), Webster.

Spry Student Council Donates to Dream Factory of Rochester

The Spry Student Council recently made an impressive donation to the Dream Factory of Rochester.

COVID didn’t stop these middle school go-getters from hosting two fundraisers to benefit the local non-profit. They tapped into people’s taste buds by having a fundraiser at Chipotle, netting $1,123.41. Then they challenged their peers and the Spry faculty and staff to take part in a fun Jar Wars competition during Spirit Week. Participants put coins (and larger bills) in jars to earn points for their team or take away points from another team. The spirited competition raised another $1,505.41.

Student Council representatives Jack Frenzel (co-president), Maya Pascuzzi (co-president), Lauren Roberts, Sarah Hellems, and Jayna Zimmerman presented an oversized check (and a real one) in the amount of $2,628.82 to Laura Walitsky, area director of the Dream Factory of Rochester. Also on hand were Michelle and Brian Schilling with their children Ella, a Dream recipient, Matt, a Spry seventh grader, and Nathan, a Webster Schroeder freshman.

The Spry Student Council donation is enough to enable one child to have her entire dream fulfilled.

Webster Marching Band seeks members


The Webster Central School District’s highly respected marching band will begin its 36th year competing in the New York State Field Band Conference during the summer and fall of the 2021-22 school year. The Pride of Webster is currently recruiting dedicated 7-11 th grade WCSD students who play a woodwind, brass, or percussion instrument. The band is also looking for dancers and color guard members.

Interested students and their parents/guardians are invited to attend a new member night on Monday May 3 beginning at 6:00 p.m. at the Webster Schroeder High School auditorium. Current 7-11th graders can sign up by scanning QR codes that can be found on posters in all four middle and high schools or by emailing Jerbrel Bowens, Webster Marching Band Director, at jerbrel_bowens@webstercsd.org.

For more information about the Webster Marching Band, click here.

Webster CSD Updates School Calendars


The Webster CSD has made several changes to the calendars for the current school year and next year.

For the 2020-21 (this year’s) school calendar:

  • Regents exams will take place June 17, 22-24 but there will be changes in attendance on these days. On June 7, 21, and 22 ALL secondary students will have school, be it in-person, asynchronous, or remotely depending on the choice parents/guardians previously made for them. On June 23 and 24, students will attend according to their individual Regents exam schedules.
  • The last day of classes for ALL students (grades UPK-12) will be Tuesday, June 22. This is a change for secondary students and UPK students.
  • Graduation ceremony dates have been set. The Webster Schroeder Class of 2021 will graduate Wednesday, June 16 at 7:30 p.m. at Webster Schroeder Stadium. Rain date is June 17 at 7:30 p.m. The Webster Thomas Class of 2021 will graduate Thursday, June 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Webster Thomas Stadium. Rain date is June 25 at 7:30 p.m.

For the 2021-22 school year (next school year), only one change has been made. The start of the school year will be Wednesday, September 8. The full calendars are available on the district calendar web page found here .

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You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Webster community mailbag

8 Aug

There are several ways for you to help out your community — and environment — in today’s mailbag.

Bottle and Can Drive

Capture

For starters, the Webster Marching Band will hold their next bottle and can drive on Saturday August 22 at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Rd. 

Bottles and cans can be dropped off at the high school from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. that day. If you have any that you’d like to have picked up before then, simply call the Bottle and Can Hotline at 234-8684, select option 1, leave a message, and someone will be in touch to pick up your returnables.

Food Drive

Capture2

That same day, Saturday August 22, Immanuel Lutheran Church at 131 West Main Street in Webster will host a non-perishable food drive. All donations will be used for the church’s Little Free Pantry and the WCSD Food Backpack Program.

Click on the poster above for more information about items they particularly need. The drive will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Blood Drive

blood drive

Another local opportunity for you to help save lives with your blood donation will take place on Tuesday Aug. 25 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Webster Volunteer Fire Department Firemen’s Building, 172 Sanford Street. To set up your appointment, call 1-800-Red-Cross. 

Electronics Recycling

The next local electronics recycling event will be held at Xerox on Saturday August 29 from 8:30 a.m. to noon.

The last time one of these drives was held at Xerox, the line of cars stretched down Phillips Rd. So organizers are requesting that everybody pre-register for this drive. Click here to do that.

Items that will be accepted include cell phones, computers, monitors, printers, audio video equipment, and small devices. There’s a limit of four TV monitors per car.

Book Sale! 

The Webster Public Library will hold a pop-up book sale on Thursday August 13 from noon to 4 p.m. outside the library on Van Ingen Dr.

All books will be $1 each. Please bring cash, wear your mask, and follow the social distancing guidelines that are laid out at the sale.

Movies and Concerts Return!

The Village of Webster is squeezing as much summer out of this year as they can.

Movies in the Gazebo Park series will return with two showings in the coming week in Veterans Memorial Park on North Ave.

Monsters uniMonsters University will be shown on Tuesday Aug. 11, and Charlie Wilson’s War with Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip Seymour Hoffman on Saturday Aug. 15.

Both movies will begin at dusk, around 9 p.m. To encourage social distancing, the park will be marked off with specific “family areas” spaced six feet apart in the grass. There will be plenty of room for chairs and/or blankets within each spot and facial masks must be worn when outside your family space. There will be room for about 60 family spaces and are first-come, first-served. You can place your chairs or blankets in a space to reserve it on movie or concert days anytime after 2 p.m. the day of the event.

No popcorn will be served so feel free to bring your own snacks and drinks.

And the (abbreviated) Friday Night Concert Series is back, too!

Friday Aug. 21 will feature Super Mini Prime Time Funk with Ronnie Leigh on vocals and sax, Dave Cohen on drums, Andy Calabrese on keys and Ron France on bass.

Friday Aug. 28, the Juday Sealy Band will take the stage. Recently Judah, a School of the Arts grad,  released his highly anticipated single called “Off The Charts” which spent two months on the Billboard Smooth Jazz chart. The group also features Webster HS graduate Deepak Thettu on guitar.

The Bill Tiberio Band returns Friday Sept 4, with Bill Tiberio on alto and tenor sax, Scott Bradley on trumpet and keyboards, Vinnie Ruggiero on guitar, Phil Lake on drums and Geoff Smith on bass.

The concerts are from 7 to 9 p.m. For more information visit websterbid.com.

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email me  at missyblog@gmail.com“Like” this blog on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

You can also get email notifications every time I post a new blog by using the “Follow Me” link on the right side of this page.

Marching Band bottle and can drive is June 13

8 Jun

fundraiser-clipart-bottle-drive-original

The Webster Marching Band could REALLY use your returnables this year.

Due to the pandemic and the schools’ being closed, the band hasn’t been able to do any of their usual fundraisers this year.  But they’re planning to at least resurrect their bottle and can drive by turning it into a drop-off event this year.

On Saturday June 13, instead of putting your bottles and cans outside of your home, the band is asking that donations be dropped off at one of three locations, between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.:

  • Can Kings in Webster across from Eastway Wegmans,
  • Can Kings in Fairport, 1276 Fairport Rd.
  • Xerox Building 128 Parking lot off Phillips Road

If you can’t make it to any of these locations, you can call the Bottle and Can Hotline at 234-8684 (choose option 1) and someone will pick up your donations.

For more information, visit the Friends of Webster Marching Band event page on Facebook.

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Go on The Journey with the Webster Marching Band this Saturday

2 Oct

 

band 1

Your Webster Marching Band will be taking everyone on a spectacular “Journey” this weekend when these amazing musicians and dancers present their annual Autumn Fanfare field show and competition on Saturday Oct. 5.

band 2Seven bands from around the Rochester area will compete, including our very own Pride of Webster. Each school prepares a different, elaborate show, complete with huge set pieces. Sometimes band members will even act out part of the story being told. Webster calls their show this year “The Journey.”

The Pride of Webster Marching Band has been hosting this show for 34 years. Last year was was the first time I ‘d actually attended. I was blown away. Allow me to quote some of my thoughts from that evening:

It is an impressive sight. Almost 70 smartly-dressed kids moving in sync like a well-drilled Army unit, at the same time PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT. People who pride themselves on being able to walk and chew gum at the same time have got nothing on these kids.

And at Saturday night’s event, we got to enjoy the artistry of six other marching bands as well, from Leroy, Hilton, Orchard Park, Medina, East Irondequoit and Victor,  who together provided 90 minutes of music, pageantry and spectacle.

As I watched and snapped about a thousand photos, these are some of the thoughts I came away with:

* These bands don’t just get out there, walk around and play music. The shows are full musical productions, complete with elaborate set pieces (check out Stonehenge in one of my photos) and detailed story lines (one school even had several performers act out part of the story). The music is rich, and usually presented in a series of movements, guiding spectators through the story’s intricacies.

* Every performance by every school is completely different. One school hid behind their set pieces at the beginning of the show, so it looked like no one was on the field. Another put down their instruments a few times for some coordinated dance moves. There was a huge moon, geometric shapes, and yes, even Stonehenge.

* The shows are changed every year, which means a new story, new music, new set pieces, new choreography, and often new costumes and flags for the color guard.

* Think marching bands are all trumpets and drums? Webster’s 2018 production, “Heart Strings: Tugged and Torn” features violins, a stand-up electric bass and two flute soloists.

* Band parents are as invested in these competitions as much as — or even more than — any sports parent. They are cheerleaders, critics, coaches, and analysts. They are the roadies, helping set up the complicated sets and running out on the field after the final note to break everything down and move it out as quickly as possible. And if you’re school is hosting an event like this, if you’re not a roadie you’re still working hard selling tickets, running the raffle, manning food booths, or selling merchandise.

* And oh, by the way, while you’re competing, not only do you have to remember all your music, where to walk without running into anyone, and how to toss that heavy flag without dropping it, you have to do all of that while a judge is walking through the ranks, sometimes just feet away from you, watching you, JUDGING you, and communicating his observations with the head judge at the sideline. Talk about pressure.

I’m looking forward to going on The Journey again this year with our marching band, and I encourage everyone else to do so as well.

The show begins at 5:30 p.m. Saturday night Oct. 5 at Webster Schroeder High School, 875 Ridge Rd. (Gates open at 4:30 p.m.) Tickets are $7 in advance at Hegedorn’s, $9 at the gate. For more information, visit www.webstermarchingband.org.

Click here to see a gallery of photos from last year’s show.

band 5

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