High school band, media programs honored

Nov 27, 2018

Dartmouth High students in both media production and the high school band are exploring their passions both in and out of school.

At the November 26 School Committee meeting, the students, teachers, and volunteers who make both programs happen were in the spotlight, honored for their tireless work, practice, and abilities in the arts.

For the Dartmouth High band and color guard program, success is three-fold, as students have brought home a championship trophy three years running, most recently two weeks ago.

“When the band goes out and competes at that level, I hope everyone in the greater community feels like it’s a win for the whole school department,” said Band Director Bill Kingsland. He also thanked the numerous volunteers and the school administration and School Committee which helps fund and provide opportunities for students.

Drum major Valrie Paynton said that while her time with the band is coming to a close as she is getting ready to graduate, serving as drum major has been one of the most gratifying experiences in her life.

“Just being able to stand up on the podium and look out and see such a strong group working together as one unit, and being able to produce the sound we do, look the way we do, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Paynton said.

Luke Higgins started out as a violinist, but jumped on board with the band two years ago.

“We went through a little bit of a tough spot early in the season,” Higgins said. “We were able to get through that, and obviously it paid off at the end of the season. We have an excellent program.”

Dartmouth High’s media program also received a shout-out during the Spotlight On Kids presentation. Dartmouth High Principal Ross Thibault presented a video highlighting the school students produced, which will be shown at the school’s showcase night for middle school students preparing to pick their high school.

Through interviews with everyone from team captains to teachers, the video -- which School Committee members praised as professional-quality -- highlighted what it means to be a Dartmouth High Indian, and the programs the school offers.

“I feel like it’s a great opportunity to use the editing software and all of the equipment, the cameras, and the recording devices,” said senior Alex Barrachina Long.

He runs his own DJ business, and has even produced videos through the class to promote it.

Media teacher Robert Perrotti noted the program was recently boosted by new computers and hardware, including iPads -- which are used to record content -- and iMacs.

“It wouldn’t have been possible without the new computers we recently got,” Perrotti said.