Elizabeth HS marching band wins NJMBDA Class AAA state championship

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Public Schools

ELIZABETH, NJ — The Elizabeth High School marching band won the New Jersey Marching Band Directors Association Class AAA state championship on Sunday, Oct. 31, at The College of New Jersey in Ewing.

EHS competed in Class AAA, a field that consists of bands with 70-99 members, which included West Orange, Verona, Edison, Ridge, Nutley, Monroe, Old Bridge, Morristown and Millville.

Elizabeth’s program this fall, titled “What We Love,” received an overall score of 93.700, edging out West Orange’s at 93.500 to claim the Class AAA state title. The performance included music by Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Lady Gaga and Sting.

“This is a monumental feat for these students, especially after having remote instruction for almost all of the 2020 school year,” said EHS marching band director and music arranger Benjamin Schwartz. “The students were extremely happy and excited to go back into competition (this fall).”

Elizabeth swept first place for all subcategories in Music Performance, in both individual and ensemble, to claim the Best Overall Music award. The band also received the top mark in the General Effect–Visual subcategory, while finishing in second among the 10 bands in Best Visual Performance and Best General Effect.

Schwartz also commended the dedication of assistant band director Rebecca Ingeri, music/visual instructor Tyler Deverman, percussion instructor Melissa Rowe, music/visual instructor Nicholas Ingeri, music/visual instructor Caroline Hoynowski, percussion instructor Ryan Jaccoi and color guard instructor Sharon Calixto in teaching and preparing the marching band for the season.

For the Elizabeth marching band, this is another state title to add to an already crowded trophy case.

“The 2021 Elizabeth High School marching band has officially added its own successful chapter to the program’s well-decorated and storied history,” said Elizabeth Public Schools Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer. “The marching band program continues to make the entire Elizabeth community proud with their extraordinary, imaginative and elaborate performances, year in and year out.”

“Congratulations to the boys and girls of the Elizabeth High School marching band, along with all who helped guide the band this season,” said Elizabeth Board of Education President Jerry Jacobs. “It is wonderful to see them back in action and taking their place among the top marching bands in the State of New Jersey.”