EAST ORANGE, NJ - When you see the Band marching down the street, you are seeing 40 to 80 young people who are actively involved in producing harmony, not chaos. They are marching with their school family, not running with gangs. They have been taught self-discipline, not lawlessness. They help one another, teach one another, learn from one another and pass on what they have learned to the next generation of band members. Most of them will graduate from school and go on to a productive career or to college. They have worked out a plan for their future with the help of their band. None of that is obvious when you see and hear them coming down the street in a parade, but watch them closely and you will see that it is true.
Their parents are actively involved with the band. You will see them walking beside the band in parades, passing out bottles of water or helping to carry heavy equipment. The parents are supportive, but not pushy. Even at band competitions every parent cheers every band. They may cheer their child's band louder, but they share their child's love for music and harmony. Unlike athletic teams, the band wins every time it performs. Every performance is a new chance to learn, and every lesson teaches the value of harmony, practice, working hard, and working together.