BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Even the brisk weather couldn’t dampen the cheers of the band fans at the 44th annual Pageant of Champions Marching Band Tournament at Governor Livingston High School Saturday sanctioned by the TOB. The TOB is one of the largest competitive band organizations in the country focused on providing a positive and educational experience for all performing schools. 

This year’s Pageant of Champions was dedicated to Debbie and Todd Schickel for their commitment to Governor Livingston and the Highlander Band.  This commitment and love is reflected by the students, alumni and local businesses donate their time and money to support the marching band. The event also serves as an impromptu reunion where longstanding friends recapture some of the energy that can only be found at the Home of the Highlanders.

“The community comes out looking forward to seeing GL give a great performance and seeing new and favorite bands perform” said Highlander band director Nicholas O’Sullivan

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Eleven marching bands took to Frey Field alongside the Highlander Band. They presented 12 unique field shows featuring music from George Gershwin to Jim Morrison and beyond. How did these teams make it to this musical proving ground? Hard work, band parents liken the dedication for marching band to that of playing two sports simultaneously.

When the Highlander Band marched onto the field the red and blue clad crowd greeted them with raucous cheers. Their exhibition performance “Time” led by Drum Major Maya Sternberg kicked off with the theme from “Doctor Who” and took the audience on a journey of music, color and syncopated movements. Their performance scored 92.3 out of 100.As their last show of the regular season before the championships the pageant means a lot to the members of the band. “This is the time when the new students get a sense for everything involved in performing in competitions and at games. They become a part of the tradition that continues the program every year," said O’Sullivan.

The Highlander Band will compete at the NJ State Championship on Saturday, Oct. 24 in Toms River and at the Greater New York/New Jersey Metro Region Chapter 10 Championship on Sunday, Oct. 25 at West Essex High School.

The bands participating in Sunday's competition judged against other ensembles within their category [of experience: Open Class, A Class or Festival Class] based on the number of marching musicians.  

The 44th Annual Pageant of Champions results:
Class A Group I: High Music – Perth Amboy High School; Class A Group I: High Visual - Perth Amboy High School; Class A Group I: First place with a score of 79.45 Perth Amboy High School

Class A Group II: High Music – North Bergen High School; Class A Group II: High Visual – North Bergen High School; Class A Group II: First place with a score of 87.07 North Bergen High School

Class A Group III: High Music – Sayreville War Memorial; Class A Group III: High Visual - Metuchen; Class A Group III: Third place with a score of 84.615 – Jefferson Township High School; Second place with a score of 89.185 – Sayreville War Memorial; First place with a score of 89.735 - Metuchen

Class A Group IV: High Music - Toms River North; Class A Group IV: High Visual - Toms River North; Class A Group IV: First Place with a score of 85.975 - Toms River North

TOB Festival Class: Silver Award to Summit High School

Open Class Group III: High Music – Madison High School; Open Class Group III: High Visual – Madison High School; Open Class Group III: Second place with a score of 88.5 Sparta High School; First place with a score of 91.0 – Madison High School

Open Class Group II: High Music - West Essex; Open Class Group II: High Visual - West Essex; Open Class Group II: Second Place with a score of 89.95 – Arthur L. Johnson High School; First Place with a score of 90.60 - West Essex

Drum Major Awards:
Group I – Perth Amboy
Group II – West Essex
Group III – Madison
Group IV - Summit

Best Overall Open Band Award with a score of 91.0 Madison High School