Belle Vernon band members more than like family — they are
Performing with the Belle Vernon Area High School Leopard Marching Band may feel a bit like a family affair for some of the students.
The 120-student band this year includes 13 sets of siblings.
“This is unusual for us, to have that many. It's a good problem to have,” band director Mark Surovchak said.
Sisters Angela Iacoboni, 18, a senior, and Gina Iacoboni, 16, a sophomore, perform together in a baton corps.
The two majorettes take voice lessons together.
In the Seibel family, the trombone is the instrument of choice.
Dorian Seibel, 18, a senior, played the trombone before becoming drum major this year.
His brother, Cole, 14, a freshman, now plays with the band.
Their dad is a trombone player.
“I would come home and tell my parents and (Cole) about band,” Dorian said.
His brother's enthusiasm rubbed off, Cole said.
“Then when I heard he wanted to be drum major, I kind of looked up to that role,” he said.
Ryan Treadwell, 16, a junior on the drumline, and Brennan Treadwell, 14, a sophomore trumpet player, used to perform home concerts for their family.
“I would tell him after a parade or a football game how much fun we had,” Ryan said.
“I saw what he was doing, and it looked like fun,” Brennan said.
The two also play hockey and other sports together.
“I've always wanted to be in marching band, and a guitar spot opened up,” said Dan Bednarczyk, 17.
His sister, Erica, 15, had friends in the color guard, and that sparked her interest in joining, she said.
Senior Alex Yawny, 17, plays saxophone in the band. His sister, Shelby, 16, a sophomore, was recruited to manage last year.
After taking baton lessons, she tried out for and landed a spot as a majorette.
Gerald Hinerman III, 16, a junior alto saxophone player, admitted he initially wasn't pleased when his sister, Sammi, 14, a freshman clarinet player, joined the band.
“I thought, ‘No, this is what I do,' at first. Then, no, it didn't matter,” he said.
The two are working together to raise funds for the band's planned April trip to Universal Studios in Florida.
Allie Mignogna, 16, a junior flute player, thought it was “pretty cool” when brother David Mignogna, 14, a freshman alto saxophone player, joined the band.
Senior David Lynn, 17, and his brother Andrew, 14 a freshman, both play trumpet.
“Our older brother, Dennis, played trumpet and was in marching band,” David said.
David said that during his four years in band there always were groups of siblings.
“I just never realized there were this many,” he said.
Freshman twins Jordan and Jonathan Susick, 14, play in the drumline and alto saxophone, respectively.
“There are no cons, really,” Jordan said.
Active in track and field, the brothers also have individual interests, Jordan said.
“He did it because I did it. I didn't mind,” senior Brandon Sekoski, 18, said of his brother Zach, 14, a freshman.
The two are both on the drumline.
“We practice together,” Brandon said.
John and David Columbus, 16 and 15 respectively, also are on the drumline.
John, a junior, and David, a freshman, are active in the school's Leo Club and have earned black belts in tae kwon do.
Kacie Kubitza, 16, a junior on the dance team, suggested that her brother, Jacob, 15, a freshman who plays electric guitar, join the band.
“I thought he would like it. You meet a lot of people, especially as a freshman, in band camp,” Kacie said.
“I just thought I'd try something new,” Jacob said. “A lot of my friends joined.”
Additional “sibling acts” include senior Jackie Paul, who plays the flute, and freshman Fox Paul, who plays the trombone.
Mary Pickels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-5401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.