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Millville High Marching Bolts Set a New Record

Millville High School Marching Bolts pose after their regional championship win on October 24, 2021.
Front, from left: Drum Majors Yazmine Bates and Gabrielle Akiatan. Middle: Dylan Olinda, Natalie Harrison, Andrew Zerra. Back: Anthony Kukal, Ewan Wickward.

The Millville High School Marching Band set a new school record for its performance in the Tournament of Bands (TOB) Regional Championship on October 24th at Kingsway Regional High School. The Marching Bolts scored a historic 91.24, breaking a 25-year school record and earning the title of Tournament of Bands Region 1 Group 4A Champions.

The band had a total of eight first-place finishes this season as they competed in a variety of locations in the NJMBDA Tournament of Bands circuit, including a show hosted at home on Wheaton Field on October 9th. The Marching Bolts earned Best Visual and Best Color Guard awards at the October 24th Championship as well as their first place finish.

Every season the band selects a theme for their performance. This year the Marching Bolts performed a poignant show titled “Letters from a Prisoner of War” by Randall Standridge, which details the emotional struggle faced by prisoners of war in their attempt to send word home to loved ones. Drum Majors Gabrielle Akiatan and Yazmine Bates led every performance dressed in military costume uniforms on loan from the Millville Army Airfield Museum.

On Sunday, October 31, the band performed in their final competition, the NJMBDA state championship, at The College of New Jersey. The band placed 10th overall with a score of 81.8 among a group of the most prestigious high school marching bands in the state.

“I’m so proud of the Millville Marching Band this year for their record breaking season and championship,” says band director Rob DeSantis. “ I’m also feeling very nostalgic about how far this band has come in the past 20 years. All the hard work and dedication from all the past bands has led to this point and we are so excited to keep pushing the band to the next level. Special shoutout to the senior class and thank you to all the staff, parents, families, and administrators for all their support.”

The Marching Bolts will attend the 150th Thanksgiving Day Classic to support the Bolts football program against rival Vineland, hosted at Wheaton Field.