What do you get when you combine nearly 60 Saint Viator band members, with more than 100 middle school musicians — and 375 members of the Marching Illini? A total of more than 500 band members filling the football field, creating a symphony of school spirit.
That was the experience Friday night, when the Saint Viator Lions hosted their ESCC rival, the Dons from Notre Dame College Prep.
More than 4,000 fans packed the Morris Field at Robert Morris University in Arlington Heights, and they got their money’s worth. The game opened with a pregame performance that included the 120 middle schoolers from some of Saint Viator’s feeder school band programs.
The Illini then joined with the Saint Viator band on the sidelines, in an added bleacher section, before taking the field for a “Disney Spectacular” halftime show, which featured music — fittingly — from the Disney hit, “Lion King.”
“What a great night to be a Lion,” tweeted Fr. Corey Brost, CSV, president, and an Illini alum and Illinois Law School graduate. “That was a halftime show like no other.”
Besides Fr. Brost, Saint Viator has another prominent Illinois graduate: Vince Genualdi, director of bands. He marched with the Illini in its sousaphone section, before earning a spot as one of three drum majors during his junior and senior years. He graduated from Illinois in 2013.
“It’s a very exciting opportunity for our band program and the school community,” Mr. Genualdi says. “The Marching Illini leads the collegiate marching band realm and has a long lasting tradition of musical excellence and integrity. Their dedication to music education and to excellence is contagious.”
For more photos and video from the night, check out this Storify.