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SWR’s new music stands are akin to a sweet note

When Kevin O’Brien was asked in April what the Shoreham-Wading River High School Music Department could use, his mind turned to the big-band era and people like Buddy Rich, Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman. More specifically, he thought about the bandstands they had. SWR did not have a bandstand.

Yeah, something like that would be real nice, indicated Mr. O’Brien, SWR’s band and musical director, putting that on his wish list.

A couple of months later, his wish was granted by Gavin Trezza, a saxophonist in the school’s symphonic and jazz bands.

“I don’t think he actually expected me to do it,” Mr. Trezza, 16, of Wading River said. “He was just like, ‘Yeah, this would be nice.’ I’m like, ‘OK,’ and then I delivered.”

He sure did.

For his Eagle Scout project, Mr. Trezza designed and constructed six stylish music stands, which he donated to the school district. He was assisted by his parents, Doreen and Joseph, as well as eight scouts from his Boy Scout troop, Troop 94 in Wading River.

As an added bonus, Mr. Trezza will have opportunities to play behind those music stands this coming school year as a senior, with the knowledge that he will leave something behind for future young musicians to enjoy.

The first order of business for Mr. Trezza was to talk to principal Frank Pugliese, who let him know he needed to present the project idea to the school board. “They loved it,” said Mr. Trezza.

Gavin works on building one of the music stands. (Credit: Courtesy of Shoreham-Wading River School District)

Two weeks later he received the green light and work began. “The planning was the hardest part,” said Mr. Trezza, who had a graphic designer draw a logo of a cat (SWR’s nickname is the Wildcats) for use on the music stands.

The stands are made of corrugated plastic in the school’s blue and gold colors with a wood base in the middle. “SWR Wildcats” is scripted in the front with a cat donning a derby and playing a saxophone.

The cost of the project was $1,000, said Mr. Trezza, who noted that $300 of that came from a grant from the Andrew McMorris Foundation, named in memory of a scout struck and killed by a drunk driver while hiking in 2018.

All the completed stands were delivered to the school by June 5.

“I think it turned out really nice,” Mr. Trezza said. “I don’t know what I was expecting, but they were very nice. I was very happy with the final product, yeah. It exceeded my expectations.”

Mr. O’Brien’s reaction?

“I was absolutely just blown away,” he said, adding: “What he created, what he made is honestly beyond what I thought was possible … What he made is absolutely dynamite, absolutely beautiful.”

The music stands were christened last month at an underclass academic awards ceremony in which the Wildcat jazz band provided musical entertainment.

“You almost don’t even have to play a note. It looks so good that it makes us sound better,” Mr. O’Brien said. “For the fine arts students, this is one of those things that really, it puts an exclamation point on what they’re doing.”

How does Mr. Trezza feel now that all that work is behind him?

“Relief,” he said. “It’s a lot of paperwork, and once that paperwork was ready to go and handed in, it felt really good.”