Marching Band Takes First Place at Sparta Competition


On Sunday, October 10, our own Highlander Marching Band took first place in their division at Sparta High School’s Tournament of Bands. West Morris Central scored the highest in division 2A with a score of 81.49, with the two other schools, Montville and North Bergen, scoring 81.08 and 79.59, respectively. There were a total of 10 bands at the event from all over northern New Jersey, divided into 3 groups based on the number of students in each band. Despite the downpour, the band put on one of their best performances to date. “It was insane,” said trumpet/mellophone section leader Kai Cleary. “As someone who’s been with the band for three years, seeing how much we’ve all progressed individually and as the Highlander marching band is awesome.”

The Highlanders’ show is called Ritual, and it features four pieces based on Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring. The music itself is triumphant and almost menacing at times, with a marching drill to match that energy. The show is even further enhanced by the color guard, who wield air blades and patterned flags with vibrant colors. Ritual has taken 2nd place twice and 1st once during this competition season, leaving the Highlanders with an undefeated record of sorts. When asked to comment on this, drum major Nick Murello enthusiastically replied, “I’m just super proud of everyone who’s been involved thus far and I’m looking forward to the future!”