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Irvington News
School News

Irvington High Band Performs Outside Islanders Game

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March 18, 2024

By Tom Pedulla—

Let’s get this show on the road!

The Irvington High School band did exactly that when it strutted its stuff outside the main entrance to UBS Arena March 16 to entertain fans attending that afternoon’s game between the New York Islanders and the Ottawa Senators.

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The band has been very much a traveling show thanks to Debra McCumber, the Music Department chair for the Irvington School District and band director.

“I like to arrange different performances for the band because it gives them a real authentic experience, what it’s like to be a musician, to go to a place that you don’t know,” she said. “You don’t know what the acoustics are like, what the weather is going to be like, whether you are inside or outside.

“It’s not just a vacuum where you’re playing in a designated theater at your school and having your parents watch you. It’s real audiences who have never seen you.”

The band has made multiple appearances for the New York Mets, including on-field performances of the National Anthem. It also has ventured to Philadelphia to entertain fans of the Flyers and 76ers.

“It’s really exciting. It’s exciting in the planning. It’s exciting when we do fund-raising. It’s exciting when we’re packing up and organizing,” McCumber said. “And it’s exciting playing the actual event and when you finish, having that sense of ‘Okay, let’s pack up and talk about how it went.’ “

The opportunity to travel builds camaraderie within the band and a sense of community with family, friends and neighbors who attend. One invitation has led to another.

“I’m proud of my students that they always have that respectful, professional nature whenever we go somewhere,” McCumber said.

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