VENICE - A delightful play on words: the Venice High Marching Indians’ halftime show is the 80s on VHS. VHS is both the video home system cassette prevalent in the 1980s, and Venice High School’s initials.


This band is under the direction of David Wing, an 80s child himself with size 80 shoes to fill. Jonathan Case was the long-time band director in Venice. Drum major Sofia Cosentino knew Mr. Case years before she joined the marching band since her sister was also in the band before Sofia started high school.

“So I was here a lot and I was already comfortable and familiar with Mr. Case," Sofia says.

These sentiments are shared by co-drum major Cooper Tennerino.

“I loved Mr. Case. He was kind of an idol to me; I looked up to him a lot,” Cooper says.

But the COVID pandemic hit, and Mr. Case moved north closer to family.

“And we didn’t even ever get a proper goodbye because all the kids were in quarantine," says Sofia.

David Wing took over as band director in 2020, and he’s no stranger to SNN, or the Suncoast, having worked at Woodland Middle School in North Port for 12 years. But as Sofia says,

“Change is hard sometimes.”

However, without missing a beat, she goes on,

“Boy, am I so glad Mr. Wing is our director.”

“He brought a lot of enthusiasm to the band," says Cooper, "and it was much needed enthusiasm because everyone was bummed out about COVID and we weren’t gonna have a normal season.”

Sofia can't stop gushing, “He is awesome and he motivates me everyday. [He] always puts a smile on my face and I’m just so thankful to have him here.”

With a return to a more normal season, David Wing also announced the band would take part in a few competitions. In Wing's view, he wants to take the band to the next level.

That's music to Cooper’s ears, “I love going to competitions. I like the competitive aspect and I like getting to meet other bands that we normally wouldn’t meet.”

Time will tell how they do in competitions under Wing. But time’s already told them what the program’s meant to them.

“If I didn’t join marching band my freshman year, I don’t know where I’d be," Cooper says, “Go to a football game, go to a competition. Enjoy the atmosphere. Just kind of soak it all in, and you might fall in love with it; I’m just warning you now.”