Columbus Day parade, Sugar Bowl on Marching Saxons calendar
Strike up the band!
Neighbors surrounding Schaumburg High School are accustomed to hearing its marching band practice on the school parking lot and in the stadium.
Earlier this month, local residents got an added bonus: an impromptu parade.
As a culmination to their band camp and just before classes started last week, Band Director Vincent Inendino had the 230 members of the Marching Saxons parade through the neighborhood.
Drum majors Sean Honesty, Simona Stalev and Caitlin Wilkes led the band's different sections.
The marching practice served as a run-through before the Septemberfest parade on Monday -- in which they won the award for best marching band last year -- and their first halftime show on Friday, when the Saxon football team opens its home season against the Mustangs from Rolling Meadows High School.
In October, Schaumburg's marching band also will play in the Columbus Day parade in Chicago.
Yet, for most of their band camp, Inendino worked on their difficult halftime show, designed around classical music by American composer Aaron Copeland.
"It's a complete change of pace," Inendino says, "and very challenging music for the band."
For their parade show, however, neighbors in Schaumburg heard the band play everything from the Saxon fight song to the up-tempo, percussion-driven Carlos Santana hit, "Everybody's Everything," which the band will play in the Septemberfest parade.
"It works well with our jazz emphasis this year," Inendino says, "and I think the crowd will really enjoy it."
Inendino is in his second year directing Schaumburg's band program, after serving three years as assistant director under Kevin Miller, who retired in 2014.
Inendino also is a 2005 Schaumburg grad, who earned his music education degree from Northwestern before completing his master's degree in music from the University of Michigan.
At the heart, Inendino says, his role is that of an educator, and as such he wants to immerse his band students in all sorts of music genres.
While band members will be working to improve their musicianship on Copeland's music throughout the fall season, they also will be preparing for their trip in December, when the band performs at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, which explains their jazz emphasis this year.
In New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz, the Saxons will perform on New Orleans' Riverwalk, as well as in the city's Jackson Square, located in its French Quarter, while its jazz ensemble will play at Steamboat Natchez Dock -- all before combining with other bands for their halftime performance at the Sugar Bowl.
"It's an exciting year," Inendino says, "and we've been working hard all summer just to get ready."
Marching through the surrounding neighborhood, he adds, is a fun and fitting way to celebrate with neighbors before their parade and halftime shows begin.