2013-14 Bengal Band Information
The Holy Cross Band is a sequential music program for young men in grades 5-12,
the only such program of its kind in New Orleans. There are four large performing
ensembles including the middle school beginning and advanced Bengal Bands, and the
high school Tiger Marching and Symphonic Bands. There are also many smaller ensembles
to fit everyone's interests, such as, jazz band, percussion ensemble, saxophone
quartet, and brass quintet.
It is the goal of the program that upon graduating a student be prepared to actively
participate in a college/university music program. Students study and perform all
types of music, from classical to pop. Performance skills are learned side by side
with music theory and history. The latest technology is used in the classroom to
ensure the band is on the cutting edge of performance practices. Musical instruction
culminates in various performances throughout the school year by all ensembles.
The band was formed in 1894 by Father F.A. Reuter, CSC, and has been making music
for 115 years. Since its earliest days the band program has been carrying out the
tradition of a true Holy Cross education to, "not educate the mind at the expense
of the heart." A Holy Cross education values the arts and all students at some point
in their studies are exposed to arts education. Holy Cross Bands have a longstanding
tradition of music education excellence in the city of New Orleans. Bandsmen have
continued on to earn college scholarship, returning to our community to strengthen
New Orleans jazz and classical music. The men of the Holy Cross Bands have been
and continue to be a group of dedicated young men, who, through hard work and sincere
enjoyment, form lasting friendships that last a lifetime.
Grade 5: Students begin learning a brass, woodwind, or percussion instrument in
grade 5. Instruments are selected within the first week of school, under the guidance
of the band director. Special care is taken to ensure the student is paired with
the instrument they will be most successful on.
Grades 6-7: Students in grades 6 and 7 may also join the band as beginners. These
students must contact the band director in the spring or summer prior to the start
of school to select an instrument and set up private lessons with a reputable private
instructor. Lessons ensure the student will be able to play at the level of their
peers when they return to school in the fall. These students are then placed in
an accelerated beginning class.
Intermediate & Advanced Band
Grades 6-7: Students are allowed to participate in the intermediate and advance
Bengal bands after one year in a beginning band or by audition.
Tiger Marching Band
The Tiger Marching Band is one of the most spirited and rewarding organizations
on campus. The band can always be found at the front lines of every major Holy Cross
event including football games, home basketball games, pep rallies, and special
ceremonies. Rehearsals are held every day before school during football season,
leaving time after school for the members to be involved with various sports and
activities on campus.
Members of the Tiger Marching Band kick the marching season off with a week-long
overnight band camp held the last week of July or first week in August. Camp not
only provides the band students with a great bonding experience, but it also essential
to putting together the halftime field show. Students that are new to the Holy Cross
Tiger Band attend Rookie Camp, held the week before band camp at school, to learn
the fundamentals of marching.
The Holy Cross Tiger Band is award winning, participating in competitions during
the fall. Recent awards include superior trophies at the L.M.E.A. District VI Marching
Festival, the Morgan City Marching Festival, and the Sulphur Marching Festival.
The drumline has also taken home Best in class Drumline trophies. Nationally, the
band has performed at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and at Walt Disney World.
Tiger Symphonic Band
The Symphonic Band is the premier concert ensemble at Holy Cross, performing various
styles of music from classical to pop. Symphonic Band rehearsals begin once marching
season is over. The band participates annually in concert festivals and have received
superior trophies at the L.M.E.A. District VI Large Ensemble Festival for 40 consecutive
years. The Symphonic Band travels annually and has been to such cities as Chicago,
St. Louis, Washington D.C., Williamsburg, Virginia Beach, and Orlando.
Director of Bands
Mr. Michael Urbaszewski
As a native of Chicago, Illinois, Mr. Urbaszewski is the Director of Bands at Holy
Cross School. He has spent half of his eight years in education here at Holy Cross.
He attended Southern Illinois University where he received his Bachelors in Music
Education and Masters in Music Performance.
Asst. Director of Bands
Ms. Katie Codina
Ms. Codina is in her fifth year as the Director of the Bengal Band and Marching
Band Director of the Tiger Band. A native of Lafayette, LA, she is a graduate of
Comeaux High School. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Loyola University-New
Orleans with a Bachelor of Music Education. Ms. Codina has performed as Principal
Flutist with the Loyola Wind Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra, Piccoloist with the
Acadian Wind Symphony, and Principal Flute in the CBDNA Intercollegiate Honor Band
of 2007. She has received the Theodore Presser Musician of the Year Award, the Rev.
R.J. McNaspy Musician of the Year Award, and the Sigma Alpha Iota International
Music Fraternity for Women Sword of Honor. In 2011 Ms. Codina was named “Elementary
Band Director of the Year” by the District VI Band Director’s Association. Ms. Codina
is a member of the Louisiana Music Educators Association, Louisiana Bandmasters
Association, Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity for Women, and Music
Educators National Conference. As a member of the District VI Band Director’s Association,
she has chaired the Marching Band Festival annually since 2009 and co-chaired Elementary
Honor Band since 2010.