CLARK, NJ - This article is part of a series showcasing new teachers and administrators at Arthur L. Johnson High School.
The sound of the Arthur L. Johnson Band could be heard far and wide as they began practicing for competitions late in August. At the helm was the face of one of ALJ’s newest teachers Mr. Justin Romano. Romano is the new music teacher and band director.
Formerly from Toms River, Romano attended Montclair State University, where he graduated with a degree in music education. In 2019, he was teaching in Glen Ridge, New Jersey at both the Upper Elementary School and the Middle/High School. In addition, for the past five years he worked with their marching band program and the woodwind technician for their school.
Romano’s typical workday can become very busy. This includes back-to-back classes and lessons during activity. During the rest of his time, he is either working on marching band logistics, score studying for each of his ensemble classes, or prepping for the next day's classes. After school, he is very fond of his Marching Band practices, he also assembles Jazz Band and Indoor Percussion rehearsals.
It is notable that the band has had a championship victory in Romano’s first year. Recently the marching band had two noticeable placements. They came in 3rd Place in the Tournament of Bands (TOB) Group 1-Open State Championships and placed 1st in the TOB Group 1-Open Region 10 Chapter Championships. In these two competitions, the band competed with other 1-Open bands across the state and the specific region in New Jersey. “Placing high in both of these competitions is a true testament to how much this band has achieved,” said Romano, “and what they strive for. Excellence in music making and the continued passion to keep improving.”
When asked why he became a teacher, Romano said, “I was inspired by the many music teachers in my life who showed me the passions and wonders that music brought to others. I wanted to be that person for someone in the following generations, so people would learn to follow what they love.”
Outside of school, Romano enjoys cooking, playing video games, performing music in outside ensembles, and driving to new towns discovering new sights and food.
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