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Hastings Band Provides Football Soundtrack

HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. — The Hastings High School football team did not fare well in Saturday's 43-0 loss to visiting Bronxville, but the school's pep band played on.

"We do what we can to support the team no matter what happens on the field," saxophone player Alex Yaeger said. "It's tough when the team is not winning and the weather isn't always the best, but we keep playing."

The Yellow Jackets band sits in the home bleachers, donning sunglasses for sunny, hot September weather and overcoats and wool hats for colder days in late October, adding rhythm and sound to the game, win or lose. The Jackets band plays college fight songs, jazz medleys and pop favorites through four quarters of football.

Pep band leader and music teacher Ken Jurnigan kept an eye on the game and an eye on his musicians, coordinating the soundtrack to the game, prompting his band whenever Hastings completed a big play, made an important defensive stop or scored a touchdown, which never happened against Bronxville.

"We have a good group of musicians at Hastings," Jurnigan said. "The idea is to keep the crowd in the game and support the players on the field with some good music. ... The band never has a bad Saturday. We play a mix of music, from college marches to jazz and pop. And it does flow better when we win."

Bass guitarist Chris Hays kept a steady beat despite the score.

"It is tough to enjoy the music as much when your friends on the team are having a tough game," Hays said. "We love playing, so there's something good about being out here."

The Hastings High School pep band's next home appearance will be Sept. 29 at 1:30 p.m. when the Yellow Jackets host Woodlands.

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