New band hall is ‘breath of fresh air,’ for program

Published 12:25 pm Thursday, October 5, 2023

BROOKHAVEN — Faculty, Board of Education and band students celebrated the ribbon cutting for a new band hall at Brookhaven High School Thursday. The project was finished this summer for the students to start the school year. 

Senior Maria Barrera said she wasn’t sure if she would ever see the final product. COVID disrupted the supply chain for parts and something always came up. She said the new band hall is nice and big enough to fit the 102 member band. 

“It is great to finally have somewhere we can all practice together. We have new classrooms and can do marching fundamentals inside,” Barrera said. “We have a garage door so we can open it and take equipment in and out of the hall easier. I didn’t think it would get finished. We have waited three or four years so it was a relief.” 

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Band Director Andrew Bonner said the new band hall was a breath of fresh air for the program. He liked how the entire band could rehearse in one room. 

“It is hard to put into words how nice it has made the day to day workings of the program,” Bonner said.  “It was so small before. It is a blessing to have this. Our numbers are on the rise and we have a place to put the kids.” 

Barrera is the drum major for the band, plays volleyball, is a cheerleader and is involved with the homecoming production. Last year, she played the role of Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. 

She started with the band in sixth grade and has grown a lot over the years. Her plans for college are to study pre med to one day become a neurosurgeon. Barrera said she will likely join a woodwind ensemble in college. 

“I got to grow with this band. When I was in sixth grade I started and last year we got superior ratings at state. We are getting ready for the state competition this weekend,” Barrera said. “I love being a part of the growth we have done. I’m excited to see what the band will do next year. In college, I’ll study to become a neurosurgeon because I love the way the brain works. I started studying about the brain. My grandmothers have Parkinsons so I want to study it. I have always wanted to do research on the brain with music.”