New Band Teacher Hoping to Make More Music

Band teacher William Valenti directs the band during the school's recent Veteran's Day ceremony. Photo credit: Niko Mao.
Band teacher William Valenti directs the band during the school’s recent Veteran’s Day ceremony. Photo credit: Niko Mao.

By Sabrina Stemm

New Band Teacher Mr. Valenti is in his first year at BHS, but he already has hopes to expand band and make the class a more a recognizable force in the Branford High School community.

Band, for the most part is like any other class, aside from the requirement to have played an instrument prior to signing up. According to Mr. Valenti the majority of band members have formerly played in band at Walsh Intermediate school. The problem is that students sometimes lose interest in band by the time they reach high school level, which can be detrimental to the future of band. As for the amount of students currently in band, Mr. Valenti said: “It’s less than what we would hope.”

Mr. Valenti  replaced Mr. Samodel, who had worked at Branford High School as band director for over several years, and is now currently working at John B. Sliney Elementary School.

As of now band consists of 21 students. However, Mr. Valenti expressed that approximately 60 band students would be satisfactory.

“It would be silly not to try” and expand band, he said. Around 100 students start out playing in band so the dramatic drop to only 21 is troubling for Mr. Valenti. He would like to “retain who starts” and for students who have quit “find out why they quit.”

The Band typically plays at sporting events, specifically football. There is a possibility the band will start playing at basketball games if the athletic department allows it. The band performed at the Veteran’s Day ceremony and Mr. Valenti said they will also play at the winter pep rally.

Maintaining the same teacher throughout the high school years sets band apart from other activities, he said.