SPOTSWOOD, NJ - The 14th annual District Band Night warmed up the chilly January evening with a little night music on Thursday. District Band Night brings together Spotswood's Memorial Middle School and Milltown's Joyce Kilmer Bands with the Spotswood High School music program. Middle school students play their instruments alongside high school musicians as a way to introduce the tweens to the diverse Spotswood High School music program.
"The experience of playing alongside the high school wind ensemble gives the seventh and eighth graders a sneak peek into what they will be able to accomplish at SHS," Memorial Middle School Music and Band Director Christina Restine explained. "Being under the direction of Mrs. Carino-Koza is a valuable component because she brings great energy and excitement to the stage during the performance. District Band Night gives our young musicians something to look forward to on what can be an intimidating first day of school because they already have a connection to one of their teachers."
Restine is a product of both the Milltown and Spotswood High School music programs. The music educator and musician is also a former student of Spotswood High School Band Director Sarah Carino-Koza.
The Spotswood High School and Memorial Middle School Jazz Bands began the program with a fun joint performance of the theme song from "Seasame Street" before the newly formed Sposwood High School Jazz Band got toes tapping with Bruno Mars' "Treasure" and James Brown's "Cold Sweat." Restine directed the middle and high school jazz bands before Carino-Koza took over to conduct SHS's Jazz Band.
After a short break, seventh and eighth grade band members from the Memorial and Joyce Kilmer bands took their seats on stage with the Spotswood High School Honors Wind Ensemble for a master class. Students must audition to be a part of the Honors Wind Ensemble. Carino-Koza explained that a master class is an example of a standard band rehearsal, giving the tweens and their parents a window into what actually goes on during a band practice.
The Wind Ensemble played the piece first before the middle schoolers joined in on "Imaginarium." Carino-Koza conducted the performance just as she would a regular band rehearsal. In addition to introducing middle school students to the high school instrumental music program, District Band Night also allows parents to become familiar with the program that offers students a wealth of musical opportunities throughout their four years as a Charger.
To conclude the innovative and entertaining evening of music, the Honors Wind Ensemble performed "In The Bleak Winter," which the group also played at the December winter concert.
Members of the Spotswood High School Jazz Band include Joe Perkins, Ben Leiby, Ami Coraggio, Madison Faust, Jenna Citro, Melanie Miller, Ronald Contard, Skylar Provell, Bryan Chan, Shannon Longmore, Megan McCook, Ava Perez, Jeremy Lalicon, Emma Savarese, Graham Hornecker, Sheliza Dollete, Courtney Dougherty, Alexix Faust, Octavia Mastroianni, Samara Screck.
The Memorial Middle School Jazz Band included Andrew Kim, Jules Krefski, Corey Miller, Gabby Barasch, Lael Leaver, Andrew Capran, Anastasia Awadalla, Mandy Contard, Hailey Connelly, Shawn Dollete, Bobby Mills, Bobby Connelly, Camryn Snyder, Collin Jackson, JT Jawarowski, Shane Thaisz, Jenna Chayko, Stacy He, Simon Awadalla, Jesse Mackey, Cyanne Chan, Mateo Rivera, Caden Dowgin and Daniela Da Rocha.
Spotswood High School's Honors Wind Ensemble includes Ami Coraggio, Rachel Lee, Alexis Faust, Madison Faust, Randi Wells, Samantha Wasserman, Emily Michaels, Emily Collins, Sheliza Dollete, Jenna Ciro, Robert Kwiatkowski, Emily Mosquera, Kaitlyn Ciak, Ben Leiby, Kaysi Fajardo, Melanie Miller, Ronald Contard, Nick Komosinski, Jonathan Wasserman, Michael Ciaccio, Maia Revilla, Megan McCook, Jada Fenner, Kiki Neves, Jeremy Lalicon, Marina Girgis, Emma Savarese, Colin Byrne, Steven Karczewski, Julia Masucci, Octvia Mastroianni, Isabella Patrone-Black and Max Swiderski.
The Joyce Kilmer Middle School Band includes Lauren Carter, Scott Loughran, Jack Reed, Preston Smith, Florisel Velez, Luc Acquaviva, Oscar Davila, Kiersten Kober, Katie Paredes, Andy Saulnier, Linda Davila, Sean Illenye, Julian Counterman, Tavio Revilla, Leo Wagner, Cole Frost, Calvin Wagner, Jonathan Misura, Jonathan Dekovics, Jarod Janssens and Ashley Perdun.
The Memorial Middle School Seventh and Eighth Grade Band includes Anastasia Awadalla, Andrew Capran, Kayla Louis, Corey Miller, Eva Pharande, Katrina Cicero, Olivia Adiao, Hailey Connelly, Kate Acheampong, Jenna Citro, Collin Jackson, JT Jawarowski, Matthew Rios, Justin Seifin, Camryn Snyder, Shane Thaisz, Jenna Agostisi, Matthew Olejarczyk, Jacob Phelps, Angelica Coffey, Cyanne Chan, Daniela Da Rocha, Caden Dowgin, Nicholas Larys, Anthony LoSacco, Jesse Mackey, Nathaniel Peck-Garcia and Mateo Rivera.