Buffalo’s Best High School Marching Band: Mount St. Mary Academy


TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – They have the horns; they have the drums; and they have plenty of girl power.

Mount St. Mary Academy has the only all-female high school marching band in the state, and it’s your choice for Buffalo’s Best.

“It means the world to us, because we don’t get recognized as much as probably other bands because we’re a smaller school,” said Grace Martone, a drum major with the band.

There is plenty that sets Mount St. Mary’s band apart.

In addition to the all-female membership, it’s also the only high school marching band in the state that features bagpipes.

And, at a school with fewer than 300 students, the 110-piece marching band has one of the highest participation rates in the state as well.

Band Director John Hathaway, who has been a music educator for 52 years, built Mount St. Mary’s program from the ground up over the last 18 years.

“We teach leadership skills. We’re very big into that with the kids. I have 20 officers that run the program,” he pointed out.

All of the ladies in the band work hard year round to be Buffalo’s Best. They perform often in local events and parades, and they’ll even play at Disney World in February.

The band members say they love the thrill of the performance.

“You get this rush of adrenaline and it feels so good,” said Band President Madison Hammar, “and I always remember my performances with my friends.”

The plaid-clad ladies had the chance to perform for their classmates Friday morning when Principal Katherine Spillman announced the Buffalo’s Best win to the school.

“It feels really good to be appreciated and acknowledged by our school and the community. It’s just a really big accomplishment,” Hammar said.

News 4’s Katie Alexander had the chance to watch Buffalo’s Best High School Marching Band in action Friday morning. Watch the videos below to see our full Wake Up coverage.

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