Shaler Area hosts Allegheny Valley Band Festival


Shaler Area marching band performs at the Allegheny Valley Band Festival

Hannah Stelitano

The Allegheny Valley Band Festival is an annual event for local bands that gives them an opportunity to share their halftime performances with other band communities. Due to COVID-19, the last time a band festival occurred was in 2019, before the pandemic.

This year, Shaler Area hosted the festival. On Wednesday, October 6, seven local high school bands performed at Titan Stadium to showcase their halftime performances. In addition to the host school, other schools participating were Avonworth, Fox Chapel, Hampton, North Allegheny, North Hills, Northgate, and Pine Richland. Much work was put into preparing for the festival, which  began as far back as last school year.

Last year Shaler Area band director Mr.George Tepshich reached out to the seven schools to pick a date that would work best. Once a date was picked, Mr. Tepshich went right to the school to receive a permit for the field. From there, shuttle busses were ordered to transport the students and maps and directions were given to each school. Local police were contacted and signed up to work the event directing traffic and being there for safety protocols. The local EMS and fire departments were also contacted about the event.

More planning and preparation included printing programs and tickets, securing  handicap parking, designing flyers to promote the festival, creating awards for each school, making a seating chart and signs to indicate where each school sits, hiring an MC for announcements, and ensuring the administration knows about all that is occurring.

Fundraising is also a huge part of the festival. Shaler Area Band Parents Association (SABPA) worked extremely hard on these fundraisers to help the band’s funds grow while also hosting a community event. At the event, Shaler Area Marching Band had various fundraisers including 50/50 tickets, concession sales, candy grams, T- shirts, and bracelets. All of these fundraisers will help the band with their funds and allow them to be able to host more events like these in the future.

“Planning for a big event like this mainly consists of organization and delicacy to make sure everything runs smoothly,’” Mr. Tepshich said.

With an estimated 1300 students, 2-3 thousand spectators, 32 busses, and 12 marching band trailers, organization plays a huge role in the planning for this event. Without all of the hard work and time Mr. Tepshich spent planning this event, it would not have been as much of a success as it was.

“It was very successful. All of the band members, staff, parents, helpers, and honestly everyone involved worked together and it was a very successful and enjoyable evening. I have heard nothing but positive feedback from the other schools and spectators,” Mr. Tepshich said.