AUBURN, Mass. – The Auburn High School marching band cannot wait to step onto the field where Tom Brady and the New England Patriots battle it out on Sundays.
The Auburn band is taking part in the 28th Annual Band Day on Saturday, Nov. 17 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough under the instruction of the University of Massachusetts Minuteman Marching Band.
The UMass marching band will lead a day of rehearsal on Nov. 17 for thousands of New England high school students, concluding with a combined halftime performance at the UMass football game against Buffalo.
“We did it last year at UMass-Amherst, but this year is at Gillette, which is going to be pretty awesome,” said Eric Lier, a senior drum major at Auburn High. “It’s a much bigger stage and we’re really excited for it.”
About 1,500 students will play a piece together at halftime, which is “really, really wild,” according to Auburn band director Virginia Bailey.
“The kids will have the great opportunity to be in that world-class environment,” Bailey said. “Then UMass plays a postgame show for the kids. It’s just a really great day.”
Before the band heads to Gillette in November, Auburn residents can check out the marching band at Friday night football games. Bailey said they’ll be playing songs while marching in formations.
“We’ll have a fun and entertaining field show,” Bailey said. “It gives the kids the opportunity to be exposed to marching band, so if they go to a school like BU or BC or UMass, who has a marching band, then they won’t feel afraid to join.”
This year the band has grown to 74 students, which is a record number of students, according to Bailey.
“We usually have 50 to 55 students, so it’s really exciting to have 74,” Bailey said. “We have a strong theater program at the middle school, and the new band director there will keep those numbers up, so we keep moving forward.”
With the record numbers, Bailey is hoping to find additional opportunities to show off the band’s talents.
“I’d like to get the band up to the Pappas Recreation Complex and do an outdoor concert,” Bailey said. “We have such a great performing arts space in Auburn and I’d like to get the band out in the community as much as possible.”