There are many ways to describe the Wilton High School marching band.  “Award-winning.”  “Largest in school history.” Now, you can add the word “philanthropic.”

That’s because following the Band program’s annual banquet on Tuesday evening, Nov. 17, the high school’s musicians packed a truck full of non-perishable food donations that were collected at the event. With just under 200 band members, the dinner was one of the largest they’ve ever held–more than 350 people attended.

WHS Band officers, seniors Elliot Connors, Tommy Crimmins, Dean Kim and Jordan Reichgut, organized the successful food drive. They met after school on Thursday afternoon to load up the van that would bring the donations to the Food Bank of Lower Fairfield County.

The students agreed that the band has had such impact on their lives and that’s where the desire to give back comes from. Reichgut put into words why he thinks his band peers were so motivated to make this donation.

“It shows the same passion that we see in our music and from our teachers. They inspire us so much with the music and we want to reflect that same passion in our actions toward helping others. The fact that we got so much food donated from all these kids privileged enough to have it, shows that passion that’s been absorbed from [band teachers] Mr. [Chip] Gawle and Mr. [John] Rhodes and their kindness and willingness to help others who need it more than they do,”

“It sounds cliche but this is like a family,” says Kim.

“It’s hard to beat the WHS band program. It’s a combination of having a lot of fun and the collaborative experience, working together with friends and learning a ton,” agrees Connors.

The banquet was chaired by band parents Karen Silverberg and Jayne Sullivan, who echoed what the kids said, thanking the teachers for providing a program that inspires such dedication. “I know my son has truly enjoyed every minute of the last four years, and as was evident through their enthusiasm that night, there are another 180-something kids who feel the same way. It’s so heartwarming to witness.”