The Covington High School marching band has a new director and new uniforms this year and they were both on display on August 1 at the Trojan Complex.
The new uniforms replace those purchased in 2005 according to Covington Band Booster president Eric Crowder.
“We’ve needed new uniforms for a while,” Crowder said. “The boosters, students and school members gave opinions about several designs, but Mr. C had the final say.”
“Mr. C” is Nick Calcamuggio, the former band director who left after the past school year to take a job in Kentucky and who was one of the people who helped push for the new outfits.
“These uniforms cost almost $30,000,” Crowder said. “The school corporation put up $13,000. We received a $6,000 grant from the Covington Community Foundation and the Boosters fundraised the rest through car washes, sacking groceries and donations.”
The band currently has about 40 members, but they purchased 60 uniforms at about $500 apiece so that they would have ample outfits in every size and also to allow for future increases in band size.
The replacement director for now gone Calcamuggio is Kyle Hartzog who was named the new Music Director for the Covington Community School Corporation with duties starting on July 23.
That appointment date meant Hartzog had slightly over a week to get the band ready for its August 1 performance and, according to Crowder, the new director enlisted some help in doing so.
“He knew he didn’t have much time to get ready for this,” Crowder explained, “so he brought in some other band people to help him work with the kids. I think they did a great job getting ready for tonight and tomorrow.”
The “tomorrow” event that Crowder mentioned was an appearance at the Indiana State Fair on Band Day where the Marching Trojans performed the same show as they had the night before at the Complex.
“Hartzog is trying to make a few small changes right now, working on things like posture – standing up straighter – when marching,” Crowder explained, “but he’s really spent most of the time trying to get the show ready for tonight. The band was still working on some of the music this morning.”
Hartzog, a native of Kokomo, earned his Bachelors of Music Education from Indiana State where he was a member of the Marching Sycamores.
After graduation, he worked as Director of the Symphonic Band and Indoor Percussion for the Montgomery County United Marching Band, a band and guard program for the students of Crawfordsville, North Montgomery, and Southmont High Schools before accepting the position at Covington.