Meet the Band

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 coming to Sacred Heart, 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 a 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 sophomore 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!

Nikki Bettinelli | Social Work Major from Chelmsford, MA

Hi my name is Nikki Bettinelli and I am a freshman. I am a member of the percussion section and I am a Social Work major. When applying to schools Sacred Heart was my last choice because it was so far away from my home and family. However, when I came to the accepted student’s day and met members of the band I was instantly accepted and welcomed! It was an atmosphere unlike any of the other schools I applied too. I knew after that day that SHU was the place for me. When I moved into SHU I was nervous and also sad because I would miss my family. After only an hour I knew that being far away from my family wasn’t a big deal because I was now apart of a new family, a family of over 100. Runners always talk about getting a runners high. I believe that musicians get a similar feeling that comes from listening to or playing music.  The first time I played music with my new family I received that feeling. It was in that moment that I knew I made the right decision and that my next four years will be incredible!