The South Allegheny High School Marching Band, under the direction of Mary Pappert School of Music alumna Jessica Kovacs (née Humanic), performed as part of Duquesne University’s annual Homecoming celebration last Saturday, October 21. 

The Gladiator Marching Band participated in the Rally to Rooney, playing an arrangement of Journey’s 1981 classic Don’t Stop Believin’, which energized the crowd and inspired the Duquesne football team to a 38–35 win over St. Francis.

The South Allegheny Marching Band has performed throughout the Pittsburgh area, has been recognized by Eat'n Park as the "Smiley" Band of the Year, and has won the WPXI Band of the Week multiple times.

A graduate of South Allegheny herself, Kovacs earned a Bachelor of Music in Music Education at the Mary Pappert School of Music in 2011. Shortly afterward, she returned to her high school alma mater as Director of Middle and High School Bands, where she has also developed a music technology curriculum that utilizes Logic Pro and a state-of-the-art recording studio. She also received a Master of Music in Music Education from the MPSOM in 2016.

"It’s amazing to see our music education alumni make such a positive impact on their school communities and bring that back to campus to share with us!" said Dr. Rachel Whitcomb, Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Music Education. "We are so very proud of Jessica and all that she has accomplished in her distinguished career so far. We anticipate many more successes in the future."

Jessica is a truly dedicated educator. Her commitment to her students’ success is evident in the multi-disciplinary education she fosters, encouraging students to take full advantage of the many available extracurricular opportunities available to them.

“Over half of our marching band members are involved in other sports programs at South Allegheny,” Jessica offered. “As I once was a student athlete in high school, I work hard to make sure that our band and sports programs have a strong working relationship and that students have the ability to participate in both. I am a South Allegheny alumna and am very proud to teach where I began my musical journey.” 

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October 26, 2023