Marlborough High alumni banding together again
By Ed Karvoski Jr., Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Four recent Marlborough High School (MHS) alumni, each of whom participated in the MHS Marching Panther Band, have united to continue doing what they enjoy most. They’re making music together in the Boston College (BC) Screaming Eagles Marching Band. First to join the ranks of college musicians was trumpeter Lucas Allen, a 2012 MHS graduate and BC sophomore.
“My freshman year at BC, I was the only one from MHS in the whole band,” he said. “I thought it would be really cool if there were more.”
This school year, tenor saxophonist Emily Whapham, a 2013 MHS graduate, is attending BC as a freshman. Allen was glad that she immediately registered for the college band.
Thanks to a partnership opportunity that BC offers for students in the greater Boston area who study at a school without a marching band, Allen was instrumental in recruiting two more 2013 MHS graduates: snare drummers Joe Babcock, a freshman at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Colin Davis, a freshman at Northeastern University (NU).
“Colin and Joe didn’t know about that opportunity, so they were really happy when I told them about it,” Allen said. “The section leaders of the drum lines loved me for doing this because I brought in a lot of the talent that made them sound really good this year.”
As they did annually at MHS, the four students started practicing together at band camp last August – but this time on the BC campus. Band camp began 10 days before school started. Within that time they needed to learn all the music and routines for the football game halftime show.
When school started, practices were conducted twice weekly from 7 to 10 p.m. It’s about an hour commute from BC to each MIT and NU.
“It’s definitely been a challenge for Colin and Joe with the transportation late on school nights two times a week,” Allen noted. “It’s a big commitment for them, but they really loved marching band in high school and this was their chance to continue that passion.”
Allen feels that participating in a marching band is a good bonding experience, both in high school and college.
“You spend so much time with each other and you share that common interest,” he noted. “There’s something about the music community at Marlborough High that bonds everyone. I consider myself good friends with Emily, Colin and Joe, even though they’re younger than me. They weren’t in my class, but a connection starts in the marching band and then continues with other things.”
This school year’s season for the college band was extended because the BC Eagles football team played a bowl game Dec. 31 against the Arizona University Wildcats in Shreveport, La. Even though Arizona beat BC 42-19, the Screaming Eagles Marching Band kept spirits high.
“It was great to be at a bowl game in a season when no one expected the team to make a bowl game,” Allen said. “The band played a medley of Boston songs, like ‘Sweet Caroline’ and ‘I’m Shipping Up to Boston.’ And, of course, we played the BC fight song, ‘For Boston.’”
The four MHS alumni frequently reflect on school days in Marlborough.
“We reminisce about the band and the high school,” Allen said. “It’s really cool to have people who have been through the same experiences as each other. It reminds you of home when you’re at college.”
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