The new 11-member Saint Viator drum line debuted at the opening football game Friday, Aug. 29, and fans noticed. Their
cadences ramped up excitement at the game, marking the beginning of a new era for Saint Viator bands.
“It’s an exciting time to be part of the band,” said new director, Vince Genualdi.
Genualdi comes to Saint Viator after spending one year as band director at Freedom Middle School in Berwyn and working with multiple neighboring high school bands, for example, Prospect, Wheeling, Rolling Meadows, and Elk Grove Village.
Before that, he marched for two years in the sousaphone section with the Marching Illini, on his way to earning a spot as one of three drum majors for the 350-member marching band, during his junior and senior years.
“That was an awesome experience,” he said. “It was really fun.”
Genualdi grew up in Elk Grove Village and attended Elk Grove High School, where he began his freshman year with a new band director, Ron Fiorito, who has since doubled the size of its programs.
Among Genualdi’s plans for the band program, which includes two concert bands, a jazz and, pep band and percussion ensemble, is growing its numbers is first and foremost.
“I want to get excitement going, and then I think everything will fall into place,” Genualdi said. “I want to make it a good experience for students, give them a reason to show up.”
The pep band at the football games, and an additional pep band made up of 20 students willing to travel to recruiting events, including Sept. 13 at September Fest, is figured to help increase visibility.
Saint Viator’s new band director, Mr. Vince Genualdi, is eager to get students involved and excited about the program. He envisions this new pep band to perform at events inside the school, as well as on recruiting visits to area feeder schools. He and the Fine Arts department will also continue the combined concert series with local junior high programs.
After last year’s combined concert and Fine Arts Day with students from St. James School in Arlington Heights, Genualdi and the department arranged a similar concert to take place with students from Our Lady of the Wayside School.
The band also will travel to Disney World next spring, continuing a tradition that dates back to 2000, as well as compete in the State of the Art Catholic band competition, and Jazz in the Meadows at Rolling Meadows High School, as well as a number of other festivals.
“I want to make the program as visible as possible,” Genualdi said. While he played the sousaphone in marching band and tuba in concert band, and consequently has a love of the lower brass section, Genualdi wants to expand all sections of the program.
“I want to build a comprehensive program with an excellent jazz program, concert ensemble and athletic program. Ultimately, I want the program to produce fully rounded musicians,” he said.