By: Ahmad Graves-El
VINELAND, N.J. — Earlier this month, on Saturday, Nov. 2, the Vineland High School Marching Band came in second place at the annual Cavalcade of Bands New Jersey State Championship.
“The Cavalcade of Bands is a competitive marching band circuit that basically encompasses [schools from] New Jersey and Pennsylvania,” said Eileen Bosco, Vineland High School Marching Band director. “And, it gives an opportunity for high school bands to go out and compete against each other and get critiqued and judged every time they go out.”
VHS has hosted this premier high school marching band competition at Gittone Stadium for the past four years. This year’s theme for the Vineland High School Marching Clan, “Trapped in Time,” was a three-dimensional equivalent to a mind-bending, Twilight Zone-style Rod Serling monologue.
“Essentially, it [was] about the structure of time. What if there was a situation where the rules of time broke down? What would that be like?” Bosco pondered.
By the end of their performance, the band showed how mankind needs time. “But,” she said, “time is only limited to the confines of our perception or our mind.”
According to Bosco, the theme was theatrical, as well.
“We [had] a color guard that handles flags and body movement during the show. Even our musicians do a certain amount of body movement […] in addition to just marching.”
Although they hosted the show, the band was still able to compete for the state championship trophy.
“It’s nice to have the home field advantage,” said Bosco, “[but] it certainly doesn’t by any stretch mean that we will be in first. Last year, we were first in our division, but actually we were second overall […] the politics are left aside.”
Despite the fact that the team didn’t place first this year, Bosco is appreciative of the village that helped to make the Cavalcade of Bands a success each year the school has hosted the event.
“We are very blessed in that we have the support from our parents […] support from our community, and […] support from our administration in Vineland.” (All affectionately known as “Band Aides.”) “Without those things we wouldn’t be able to do what we do.”
Bosco also gave a big shout out to the band members. “The level of commitment from these kids […] is absolutely extraordinary,” she said. “Many of them hold jobs, many of them belong to other clubs. We even have a student who plays football and marches [and] we have some girls who play soccer who march. It’s really nice to see kids who are this devoted and dedicated to their craft as much as these kids are.”
If you didn’t get to see the Fighting Clan Marching Band perform this year (or even if you did!), here are three more chances to catch them this weekend:
• Thursday, November 28: Wheaton Field, Millville Memorial School, 700 N. 7th St., Millville. 10:30 a.m.
• Friday, November 29: Millville Christmas Parade. High Street. 7–9 p.m.
• Saturday, November 30: Vineland Christmas Parade. Landis Avenue. 5–7 p.m.