CHATHAM, NJ - The Chatham High School Marching Band scored high marks throughout the state during the regular competition season that ended last weekend.
Each Fall, the band competes in four events, two of which are in the highly competitive US Bands circuit. This year’s show is a crowd-pleaser that includes exciting and familiar selections from traditional and Broadway Rock Operas including Bizet’s Carmen, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, The Who’s Tommy, and Jonathan Larson’s Rent.
The marching band is under the direction of Brian Conti
, who is assisted by Tim Orton
, Percussion advisor Brian Johnson
, Guard Instructor Dawn Sobi
, and visual consultants Arthur Moy
and Rich Conti
. Student leaders include Drum Majors Eric Liotta
and Kaitlyn Lee
In an independently-run show at Roxbury High School on Sept. 27, the Cougars made an impressive competitive debut for the 2014 season, taking second place in their division out of five competing bands.
In its second independent show appearance of the season on Oct. 11 at Randolph High School, CHS placed first by 10 points over their division II competitor, Morristown.
Chatham also took caption awards for Best Color Guard, Best Percussion, and Best Music in Division II. Out of the twelve competing bands, Chatham’s percussion line took first place, and the band an overall second place with a score of 82.2.
After its independent shows, CHS moved into its high-stakes competitions sponsored through the US Bands circuit. Founded in 1988, US Bands serves as a competitive circuit for high school band programs nationwide and prides itself in providing world-class performance venues and the best adjudication in the marching arts to tens of thousands of students across the country each year.
Sponsored by Youth Education in the Arts (www.yea.org), US Bands boasts membership of over 700 participating high school marching bands and hosts over 150 indoor and outdoor performance events annually. Bands participate in twelve different classes, performing and competing with other bands of like size and talent. The competitive classes are first broken down by the number of performing members in the ensemble, then into two tiers based on level of achievement.
Directors receive feedback on their design and programming, while the performance is evaluated musically and visually so that each band’s experience at the event can be maximized.
In competition with six bands at Fair Lawn High School on Oct. 19, CHS placed overall with a score of 81.15 and first in the Group II open division with caption awards for visual effect, color guard, percussion, music, and overall effect.
Last weekend at the State Championships at Rutgers’ High Point Solutions Stadium, the band was welcomed by a supportive audience of marching band enthusiasts on a beautiful late October day. The CHS band scored 78.425, just missing third place as they competed with the most decorated NJ bands in their group II open division.
The marching Cougars will be performing at the remaining CHS football games, and will celebrate their season at
an awards dinner sponsored by the marching band parents on Nov. 17.