Nikki Castellucci | Athletic Training Major from Mountain Lakes, NJ
Hey, my name is Nikki Castellucci and I play tenor sax in the band. I’m an athletic training major and prospective physical therapy student. I’m extremely happy with my decision to go to Sacred Heart. To be honest, I never expected that I would end up playing in college. I had never marched before and was hesitant about joining until the day of my audition during Orientation weekend. The second I walked into the performing arts office I was instantly welcomed by upperclassmen and introduced to my future peers, who are now my closest friends. The camaraderie in the band is awesome. There is an underlying trust and respect between everyone, which give a nice comforting feeling like home. Leaving home was terrifying for me for all the same reasons that any other small-town kid would experience. However, the very first day of band camp promptly extinguished those fears of not knowing anyone. The Band is a great organization that has opened an infinite amount of doors for me socially and academically. It is a challenge that I think builds character and confidence. I recommend joining, even if you’re not sure. You’ll play great music, make even better friends, and have a place to call home. Hopefully I’ll get to meet you soon!
Michael Tomanelli | Criminal Justice Major/Minor in Spanish from Marlboro, NY
Hey guys! My name is Mike Tomanelli and I play tuba. I am a Criminal Justice major with a minor in Spanish, and I am loving every second here at SHU. Before this year, I had never marched a day in my life. I was always caught up in so many activities and sports in high school that I never thought about marching in college. To be honest I was a little bit nervous at first seeing that most of the people here had previous experience marching. But nevertheless, everyone in band was friendly and more than happy to help me out with whatever I needed. This really helped me push through the first couple of weeks of school because I already knew people here and I could ask them anything. When I was in high school I came to play with the Pep Band for a basketball game and that’s what sealed it for me. I felt like I was a member of their family from the second I got here. I strongly encourage you to consider how comfortable you feel when you come to campus. The band here is a family. I really hope to see you guys in the future and best of luck finishing up your school year!
Michael Gaudioso | Psychology Major from Stamford, CT
Hey, my name is Michael Gaudioso and I am one of the members of the percussion section of the band. One of the big draws for me coming to Sacred Heart was the organized band program. I love music and being involved in the Sacred Heart band for my freshman year has not only fueled that passion, but made me a better musician overall. Though I was very nervous about having no marching experience, the band members made it stress free and were always there to lend a hand. Plus, getting to know nearly everyone in band makes the transition from high school to college so much easier. You will find many great people to be friends with throughout the school year who are willing to help you with both school and band. Band is a great time to learn musicality, and it is a great break from the pressures that school can entail. The SHU Band is a great community and I am very happy that I chose Sacred Heart as my college.
Evan Fox | Sports Management & Spanish Double Major with a minor in Accounting from West Hartford, CT
My name is Evan Fox. I am sophomore trumpet player in the band at SHU. I think my biggest fear regarding band was that I had never marched before. It’s not even an exaggeration when I say that the fear went away within the first two days because I was so well taught by my section leader and older students. It was a great idea for me to join the band at Sacred Heart. Although at times it is rigorous (as it should be since it’s a college band), it’s rewarding because it’s a great break during the week to just relax and enjoy playing the music. It takes the edge off from potentially stressful classes. I feel surrounded by good people and I wouldn't alter my decision to come here if I was given the chance. It’s been a great opportunity for me to keep music in my life even if I am majoring in another area.
Sarah Sullivan | Psychology Major from Northbridge, MA
Hey! My name is Sarah Sullivan and I’m a freshman alto sax member in the band. I am a Psychology major looking into either adolescent psychology or music therapy. I am very happy with my choice to attend Sacred Heart and even though it’s not my major, the music program was the largest factor in my decision. Music is a huge part of my life and I knew I wanted to continue with it throughout my college career. I never thought that I would ever take the football field and march for a halftime show in the marching band but here I am doing just that! Marching band is a lot of hard work but it definitely pays off. This coming from someone who has never marched before! Everyone said during band camp that band is a family; that everyone is also there for each other; that you will find your best friends in band. I have to admit that I didn't think that would be me—I thought that my roommates and the people in my major would be my best friends, but I was terribly wrong. Being here for such a short time, I’ve found that my best friends ARE in band and I can’t wait to spend the next four years with them. Even the upperclassmen are close with their younger peers and the incoming freshman! I was astounded when seniors would want to talk to me through the school year! Band is a great family to be a part of and I’m so glad that I made the decision to be part of it. I hope that anyone who wants to join or is hesitant decides to become part of this great family because you won’t regret it. I know I don’t!