PCHS band director chosen as parade grand marshal
Thursday, August 14, 2014 12:00 PM
Robert C. "Bob" Vitti, director of bands at Port Chester High School, has been chosen by the Columbus Day Celebration Committee as grand marshal of this year's Columbus Day Parade.
For the procession, to be held on Sunday, Oct. 12 at 2 p. m., a friend in Greenwich is lending his Mercedes convertible in which Vitti, Committee General Chairman Ed Sexton and Committee Vice Chairman Toni Ganim will ride in. "We're going to boogie down the avenue in a red Mercedes," he said.
Vitti began his career in the Port Chester public schools in the 1980s as a music instructor. He later moved up to assistant director and for the past 20 years has been director of bands at Port Chester High School. His tenure as director includes direct responsibility for the High School Concert and Jazz Bands along with the well-known "Pride of Port Chester' Marching Band.
Under his direction, the Marching Band has achieved a prestigious reputation both locally and nationally. The Band has captured several state championship titles during its many competition seasons including Best Percussion, Best Color Guard and Best Overall Band. The Band has also participated in many special events such as a performance at the Orange Bowl football halftime show, marching in the SpectroMagic Parade at Walt Disney World and appearing in two major motion pictures, the re-make of "Miracle on 34th Street" and "Spiderman 3."
Vitti has been involved with music marching activity for several decades, both as a participant and a teacher. He began his performance career as a percussionist in the 1960s as a member of the Greenwich Boys' Club Drum and Bugle
Corps, the Byram Stateliners and the Hawthorne Muchachos. He was with the five-time DCA World Champion Syracuse Brigadiers from 1999 to 2009 and was the caption head of the Brigs percussion from 2000-2003. Bob is still active in the drum corps activity and is currently associated with the Long Island Sunrisers.
Vitti has been active as a teacher and percussion arranger for both Junior and All-Age Corps including various Division II and Ill Corps in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts. He was also on staff as percussion specialist for the Sky Riders from Kansas, the Bridgemen from New Jersey, the NY Skyliners, the Connecticut Hurricanes, the Westchester Brassmen and the newly formed Saints Brigade based in Port Chester.
The band director was a three-time nominee for the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame and this year was officially inducted.
Currently Vitti is gearing up for the PCHS Marching Band's annual two-week camp to prepare the field show for this fall's competition season. It will start Monday, Aug. 18 at the Port Chester Middle School for one week and then move to Crawford Park the following week.
The rain date for the Columbus Day Parade is Sunday, Oct. 19.