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Shane Chovnick can’t wait for the marching band season to start.

A drum major and trombone player in the Eagle Regiment, the marching band for Stoneman Douglas High School, he is looking forward to another year of success.

“I have always wanted to be a drum major. I am looking forward to working with all the section leaders in the band. I can’t wait to get going and I am looking forward to band camp. We have a lot to be excited about his year,” said Chovnick.

Melissa Velasco, who leads the saxophone section for the Eagle Regiment is also looking forward to the upcoming marching season. “I hope we can be the best marching band in Florida. I love being in band and I am looking forward to this season,” she said.

Members of the Eagle Regiment have a lot to be proud of and to look forward to. The marching band has about 200 members who march at football games. The entire program, which includes three concert bands, two jazz bands, a color guard and percussion program includes nearly 300 students.

Last year, the Eagle Regiment was runner-up at the state competition and earned accolades at other assessments. Two of the program’s concert bands earned straight superior ratings at the district and state competitions. About 200 members won superior ratings at the district solo ensembles and about 100 members won superior ratings at the state competitions.

This year, the Eagle Regiment has even bigger plans. The band will travel to the Bands of America Southeastern Super Regional event in Atlanta and compete against some of the top band programs in the United States.

Alexander Kaminsky, the Eagle Regiment director believes solid leadership and a commitment to high quality music performance leads to success. He is in his second year and took over a highly successful program that had been developed by John Rusnak who died.

“When I came here, the students, parents and administrators were ready to move forward. This was an easy transition,” he said.

As a director, Kaminsky insists on excellence and believes that a high quality program attracts high quality students. In his first band director position at Cocoa Beach High School, he started with 16 students and created a successful program. He took over at other schools from band directors who were retiring and achieved success.

“It is important to recruit students into the program. Good students want to be part of a successful band program. They are willing to work hard to achieve success,” said Kaminsky. “I believe in positive reinforcement students and that this approach can encourage band members to become very successful. I want to motivate the kids.”

Many of the Eagle Regiment members are successful in school and are self-motivated. “We have a lot of bright students here and they will work hard in practice and perform well,” said Kaminsky.

The program also has the strong support of parents. Julie Hurst is a leader in the Marching Eagles Parents Association. She has children who are members of the band believes strongly in the program. “We have about 50 very committed band parents who work hard to support this program. I believe this band is good for children,” she said.

Many of the Eagle Regiment members learn the basics of playing band instruments in the Westglades Middle School and Coral Springs Middle School programs. Kaminsky said these programs are very solid and produce students who are eager to continue performing in high school.

The Eagle Regiment will soon begin its band camp. The students will put in long hours to achieve success.