ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Most of the schools in the state are preparing to return to in-person learning this upcoming school year. The Volcano Vista High School marching band decided to welcome their fellow students back with a performance to get everyone excited for the new semester.
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Friday night was the first time the band had played in front of their families since 2019. Director of Bands Daniel Villanueva said as he was coming into his first year as Volcano Vista’s band director, and he wanted to find a way to do something for the community in a musical way.
That’s when he came up with the idea for this year’s performance theme: Renew. “The idea of “renew” especially after COVID, was this idea of bringing people together, and the fact that we aren’t necessarily rebuilding. I spoke with the kids a lot about that because we’re not rebuilding because nothing’s broken,” Villanueva said. “We’re taking a pause and we’re renewing relationships, renewing our love for music, we’re renewing our community, and we’re reinvigorating everything that we had. It’s like a flame that was lit and we’re just trying to throw some gas on it.”
Albuquerque Public Schools will be returning to in-person learning this year but will require everyone to wear masks indoors. Many of the students said they’re excited and ready to see their classmates in person again, like tenth grader Dante Salim. “Just being with people again is going to get me moving and do better,” Salim said.
Senior Laura Funicelli said after so long of not being able to do what they were passionate about, they’re all motivated to do their best now that they’re back. “We’re all very excited, we’re all ready to work and put on as good a performance as we can throughout the whole year,” Funicelli said.
The students have been preparing for this performance for the past three weeks during band camp. They’ve been rehearsing 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. “They see us at the football games, and they see us going through the halls and playing, but they don’t see the Saturday rehearsals and band camps of countless hours. I think there’s a lot of behind-the-scenes things that not everyone sees,” Funicelli said.
Villanueva was exceptionally proud of how the students were ready to jump back into the routine of rehearsals. “It’s been amazing how committed they are to being back in person and performing music again,” Villanueva said.