UPPER DARBY — The sight of musicians practicing on the sports field means the first day of school is not far away and for the Upper Darby Marching Royals there is a special excitement. They have a new marching band director and a new field on which to perform.

The band, which has been holding their summer band camp for the past couple of weeks, will hold a preview performance for parents Friday evening behind the school. Their first public event is at halftime of the Upper Darby-Bonner game Aug. 23, scheduled on the Royal's new turf field.

"It's been going really well, I've been amazed with their talent and level of commitment," said new director Alex Siwa during a practice on Monday.

Members have been practicing every day from 1 p.m. into evening on their music and routine.

“They are learning how to move as a unit, then their performance,” said assistant director Jason Moore.

A new $2.2 million field and track were by the school board last March. Work on the core vertex field and mondo track is being done by West Chester based Miller Sports Construction. It replaces a grass field that has been criticized for its deteriorating condition.

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