Marching Students Killed in Florida School Shooting

Gina Montalto and Alex Schachter

The horrific school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has claimed the lives of two promising marching band members: Gina Montalto and Alex Schachter, both 14 years old. Both had competed with the Eagle Regiment at the Florida Marching Band Championship last November, taking first place in the 5A division.

Montalto, a long-time dancer, was a member of the colorguard and winterguard, which had been set to perform this weekend at the Winter Guard International Tampa regional.

“She was a smart, loving, caring, and strong girl who brightened any room she entered,” said her mother Jennifer Montalto via Facebook post.

Schachter, a freshman trombone and baritone player in the marching band was also set to perform with the school’s orchestra this Spring.

“The improvement I witnessed from him was admirable and inspiring,” band director Alexander Kaminsky said to the Sun-Sentinel. “I felt he really had a bright future on the trombone.”

A GoFundMe page has been set up by Schachter’s family in hopes of starting a scholarship in his name for members of the Eagle Regiment.

During the shooting, Kaminsky locked himself in the band room with members of the Wind Symphony, including his own son, according to his Facebook posts.

Halftime Magazine expresses our heartfelt sympathy to the Eagle Regiment and the friends and family of all 17 deceased victims of this senseless tragedy. As of Friday morning, seven other shooting victims remained hospitalized. We wish them a safe and speedy recovery.

About the author

Elizabeth Geli

Elizabeth Geli is the assistant editor of Halftime Magazine and a journalist/communications professional in Southern California. Her 11 years at the University of Southern California (USC) Trojan Marching Band included time as a flute player, graduate teaching assistant, and student advocate. She holds a bachelor's degree in Print Journalism and master's degree in Specialized Journalism (The Arts) from USC.

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