Hasbrouck Heights Marching Band Steps Off with New Uniforms and Musicians

Hasbrouck Heights annual band camp ran the third week of August. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
A shot of the Aviators marching band during band camp. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
Marching band director Joseph Ascolese and drum major Catherine Castellanos direct the field show. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
Band parent Michelle Bischoff gives a sneak peak of the new band uniforms. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
Band camp runs for one week behind the high school. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
The company front checks alignment at the beginning of the show. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
The band waits for the cue from the drum major. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
Musicians march without the assistance of sheet music on the field Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
The Hasbrouck Heights color guard will get new uniforms, too. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
The percussion section keeps the beat. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis
Joseph Ascolese talks with the band before lunch break. Credits: Faith C. Ballantine-Armonaitis

HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ -- The month of August finds most high school sports teams returning to practice for the new season. Football, soccer, cheering, cross country, tennis, volleyball, and even marching band.

Yes, Hasbrouck Heights Marching Band returned to the practice field, a small grassy field behind the school between McCarthy Tennis Courts and Hitchcock Field, for the annual band camp the third week of August to prepare a new halftime show for the upcoming football season. The band and color guard will sport new uniforms for the first time in over ten years.

“We purchased our older uniforms back in 2003, and we are very fortunate to have brand new uniforms this year,” said Joseph Ascolese, music director. “The color guard will be getting new uniforms as well.”

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“The Aviator Marching Band is very excited for upcoming season,” said Vinnia Schwartz, president of the Music Parents Association. “They will proudly represent the Orange and Black in their new uniforms.”

Aside from new uniforms, the band also has almost 20 new members this year. The group lost 17 members from last year’s band. But Ascolese is positive.

“It is a very young group this year due to all the graduating upper classmen this past year,” he said.  “However, they are a very talented and motivated group. Band camp was extremely productive and I am looking forward to a successful marching band season.”

Band camp ran Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and included rehearsing both the music and on-field show, as well as the National Anthem and pep tunes. Since the band didn't have access to the school due to ongoing construction, Monday  was shortened due the solar eclipse.

The marching band director Joseph Ascolese is assisted by Color Guard director Candice Anastasi. This year’s drum major is Catherine Castellanos.

This year’s halftime show features hit songs from three different decades. “Crazy on You” by Heart from 1978, “Call Me” by Blondie from 1980, and “Pretty Fly” by The Offspring from 1998.

In addition to all of the home and away varsity football games, the marching band performs at the annual holiday and Memorial Day parades in Hasbrouck Heights.


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