Seneca marches on to BOE recognition

Tap the wind chime, bang the drums, twiddle the flags and change costumes: A recipe for Seneca High School's award-winning marching band.

Seneca High School’s marching band is now an state championship group, and the energetic director Keith Styers wastes no time thanking all who have help the band succeed (Krystal Nurse/The Sun).

The sights and sounds of composer Key Poulan’s “Another Place, Another Time” took over a competition stage last November, courtesy of Seneca High School’s marching band.

The performance earned the band the title of 2019 U.S. Bands State Champion, Group IIIA. As reported by The Sun in November, the Golden Eagles earned the highest score of 93.36, as well as titles for best color guard and visual effects.

As a result of the state title, the band was highlighted at the Feb. 19 Lenape Regional High School District Board of Education meeting. Outgoing Principal Jeff Spector commended students for their achievement and noted their successes are one of the many things he favors about Seneca.

“It was such an honor to work for a school district that allows for things like this, to take a  place that we’re going to honor tonight,” Spector said. “I’m very proud to be a member of this family.”

The Seneca Family — a family that band director Keith Styers said has supported his department and the band members throughout the season, along with others whom  Styers credits for contributions.

Thank you guys for supporting the arts and music in this district,” the director said. “I can’t say to you how much that means to me as a father, educator and a taxpayer in this district.

Assistant Principal and music department head Dave Kinect added that students worked  through practices in the “hottest days of summer, coldest days of November” to earn the title.

Over 20 band students were personally recognized when Styers announced their names and handed them certificates of achievement, Lenape Pride letters and varsity letters and pins.

Tabernacle resident Keith Zane spoke during public comment on the varsity letter awards.  He noted the tradition has long been set aside just for high school athletes, but praised Seneca for making an exception for band members.

“I want to thank you for realizing how hard the bands of all of the school work with presenting them with their varsity level tonight,” Zane commented. “To me, that was going to be one of the things, as a freshman parent, to see happen. Our students did and you approved it.”

“The idea of our theme was that if a book were to be open and poured out on the field, it was the stories being told by our marching band,” Styers said, shouting from the crowded area of students.

Seneca’s win lands it in the same level as sister schools Lenape, Cherokee and Shawnee.

Assistant band director Grady Barber will swap positions with Styers as the band seeks to capitalize on its winning season.

I can’t believe how many people are here tonight, but this is the Seneca family,” Spector shared. “I’m proud to be a part of this community and the people who live in it and send their kids every day to.”