Under the Saturday night lights at Cranston Stadium, the Cranston East Thunderbolt Band and Emerald Encore hosted eight other high schools including; Bishop Feehan, Blackstone-Milville, Cranston East, Dartmouth, Dennis-Yarmouth, King Phillip, Oliver Ames High School and Somerset-Berkley.
East Principal, Sean Kelly was pleased with the evening.
“I am always amazed by the talent, passion and diligence these students show. They are driven to succeed and it shows in every performance. They make me proud to be their principal,” he said.
The Home Show is an opportunity for all Cranston residents and alumni to come together.
East band alum, Joseph Luca who graduated in 1996, and played tenor sax and was co drum major his senior year, was pleased to return to the Stadium.
"The invitational was so much fun. This was my first one in many years and I'm glad we were able to make it. My favorite memories of band all revolve around the lasting friendships that came from being a part of the great tradition that is the thunderbolt band," he said.
East did a presentation of their 2017 field show, “Shades of Latin,” as the home hosts, they are ineligible to compete.
After all bands had performed, it was time for the ceremonial portion of the evening.
All seniors were called onto the field, and were ‘pinned’ with flowers from their parents. The last part of the evening was the presentation of the Benny “Papa” Pagano award. Given to a senior, no one knows who is the recipient until that night.
Greg Arsenault, music teacher and band director at East, presented the Benny “Papa” Pagano award to senior, Jacob Nelson. Pagano was a great supporter of the band program. He had three grandsons in the band during the late ’90s and early 2000s.
The plaque is engraved with this message “for his leadership and “spirit de corps”
“Enthusiasm is the spark in your eye, the swing in your gait, the grip of your hand, the irresistible surge of your will and your energy to execute your ideas.”