|Kiski Area Bands|
|Kiski Area Bands|
It is with extreme excitement that the Kiski Area Bands announce a director change for the Kiski Area Marching Band! Beginning in the 2014 season, Mr. Robert Traugh will be taking the reins of Kiski Area's marching band, as Mr. Pityk steps down to dedicate more time to his family and develop other areas of the Kiski Band program.
"The decision to step down, which was solely mine, was a very difficult one," says Pityk. "The Kiski Marching Band has been a part of my life since I was 14 years old. So as you can imagine, my loyalty and dedication to this band runs very deep. I feel so privileged to have lead a group that has positively influenced so many students for so many years. But with three children in my life now, I must balance the time I have more effectively."
Pityk has directed the marching for nine years, leading the group to five Bands of America Regional Championship titles, two Bands of America Grand National Semi-finalist appearances, as well as a multitude of local titles and awards. He continues, "This is so bitter sweet for me. While I will miss working with this group on a full time basis, I'm thrilled that Mr. Traugh is taking over; he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the table."
Pityk's and Traugh's daytime responsibilities will remain essentially the same within the High School and Intermediate School respectively. Traugh, like Pityk, is an alumnus of the Kiski Band program. He brings a lot to the table having already directed another nationally acclaimed program. In addition, he arranges, composes, writes drill, is a jazz aficionado, and is a stellar trombonist. Traugh has a long and proud history with the program having been a member of the group, and he also served as a staff member with the ensemble before taking his own full-time gig.
"This program, school district and school community hold a special place in my heart. Both my wife and I went through this district and band program." Traugh continues, "I am both humbled and honored that Mr. Pityk and Mr. Heiny have trusted me to head up the marching band program. There is a very proud history associated with the marching band and I would like to honor that tradition while encouraging an excitement for what lies ahead." Traugh previously served as the Director of Bands at Norwin High School from 2007 through the spring of 2013 with an outstanding track record.
The official announcement of the reign change was made at last season's annual band banquet in November. The response was very well-received and the student and parent support has been overwhelming. Mr. Chad Heiny, who also teaches instrumental music at Kiski Area High School, will continue his role as Assistant Marching Band Director. Heiny has been an assistant since 2006, serves as the district's percussion specialist, and is truly a world class educator and performer. He has been an integral part of Kiski's success during Pityk's tenure and the two will miss working together full-time with the marching band moving forward.
Pityk will continue to be involved with planning and design for the marching band as well as teaching at occasional rehearsals, but will primarily serve the group "behind the scenes." All the directors and staff for the marching band are excited for what the future holds and look forward to begin the journey for the 2014 season. The Kiski Area Bands wish to thank Mr. Pityk for the time he has served as Kiski's marching band director and also wish a huge congratulations to Mr. Traugh on his new and exciting responsibility!
And to start the New Year, below is a kick off video for the 2014 season!