Governor Livingston students sophomores Corey Stark,  Uriel Ministro, and Joseph Stecher, as well as sophomore Veronica Birchak of Mahwah High School participated in the 2019 New Jersey Shout Down Drugs Competition. 

The competition allows high school students to form a band and write their own music and lyrics for a song. The song’s message is to promote the prevention and awareness of drug use in New Jersey. After a team performs its song, the song is uploaded to the competition’s website. The public votes on its favorite songs and finalists get to perform their songs at the Annual Statewide Prevention Concert held at Rutgers University. Judges vote on each performance, and the top three performances receive a cash prize for their performance.

The three Governor Livingston students and Mahwah High School student formed a band called “Delayed”. Ministro described the band name’s origin: “When we were composing the music, we had a delayed opening, which inspired us to name the band Delayed.” Their song is titled “Time Slipped Away”, which is about a student who takes drugs. The song starts off with the student having a good life, but then the student succumbs to peer pressure, which resulted in drug use. This caused addiction and dependency, causing the student to be “out of money and out of time”. The song ends with an emphasis on the danger of drugs and the statement that it is only a matter of time before drugs can completely ruin someone’s life.

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Stark played the bass and was the main music composer. He chose to participate in the competition because: “[drug use is] a really important topic to me, so I spent my entire time during winter break to write the lyrics and music. It was a great experience to inspire and prevent students from doing drugs.” 

Stecher played the drums for the band. He shared the same sentiment as Stark, stating he participated “to spread awareness of teen drug use.” He did not want to see more students take drugs because, as the song highlights, drugs can destroy a person’s life.

Uriel Ministro played the guitar, and remarked about the tremendous amount of time the band spent: “We practiced every weekend for the performance.” It is no easy task to compose an original song and learn how to play and sing it. The band worked very hard on top of their duties as members of the Governor Livingston band, and their effort paid off, as they became finalists in the competition. You can hear their original song, “Time Slip Away”, at