The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, November 16, 2007

Features

Pep Band delivers team spirit, music and fun for all

As the Concord-Carlisle football team takes the field for a frigid Friday night home game, another team has already made its way into the damp and cold aluminum stands. In the freezing cold, their leader is poised as the football team begins to enter the gates onto the field. With a few claps and the drop of his arm, Mr. Al Dentino starts his team with the first downbeat of the "Fight Song." The infamous Pep Band's night has begun.

The Pep Band began about 20 years ago after a decision to switch from a marching band to the Pep Band as we know it today. Originally around 30 to 40 kids would make the Friday night trek out to the stands. Now, almost a generation later, the band and its 106 members are allotted an entire section of the stands. Membership is at an all-time high, and the Pep Band's numbers are increasing every year.
Zach Lou (center) plays in the clarinet section. They are wearing their "secret weapons," Japanese headbands. (Photo by Nancy Roberts)


As the numbers increase, so does the enthusiasm and intensity for which the Pep Band is known. Mr. Dentino (known to all as Mr. D) went as far as to say that "they are the craziest, most fun, head-bangingest group of kids at the school." It's tough to disagree with him considering the band's slogan "The only band to have penalties called on it." Of course the Pep Band can make a lot of noise, but it is also known for its musicality, even in the most brutal weather conditions. Mr. D has worked toward increasing the band's repertoire, and he is constantly adding new songs to the band's flip books. The choices range from "The Overture of 1812" to "Walk this Way." And of course there are the crowd favorites like "Build Me Up Buttercup" and "Soul Bossa Nova," which features Carlisleans Owen Callahan on alto saxophone and Greg Blair on tenor sax.

Yet most of all, the Pep Band is known for its spirit. Every home game, no matter how cold, the Pep Band gives it everything they've got from the moment the football team enters the field until the moment the team leaves. The band never forgets to take out its new "secret weapons," the Japanese headbands that are shown off in every game. To get a feel for the Pep Band, one needs only to glance at Adam Johnson during one of several Taiko drum performances. In fact, simply being at the game will ensure that you hear the band sing out the lyrics of "Hey Baby," since it can be heard from anywhere on the field.

When asked about the Pep Band's spirit, Mr. D replied, "School spirit is a very hard thing to define in 2007, but if anyone asked me what school spirit is, I'd say 'Try sitting with the Pep Band on a Friday night and you might get an idea.'"
At a game earlier in the season, Pep Band members play the Japanese Taiko drums to fire up the crowd. (Photo by Nancy Roberts)
COLD WINDS. Al Dentino conducts the Concord-Carlisle Regional High School (CCHS) Pep Band as students bundle up against the late autumn weather during the CCHS football game on November 9. (Photo by Mollie McPhee Ho)

 



Editor's note: You can see and hear the Pep Band in action at the CCHS football classic against Bedford at the high school field on Thanksgiving Day, 10 a.m.

 


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