MONTVILLE, NJ - The Montville Township High School Field Corps will be hosting its 14th Annual Mustang Classic Musical Festival on Saturday, Sept. 22. The “Mustang Classic” is a festival of music and pageantry sanctioned by the organization USBands. It will be taking place at the MTHS stadium (football field), 100 Horseneck Road, beginning promptly at 5 p.m.

Student musicians and color guard members from nine area bands (excluding Montville) will be present including those from Bridgewater-Raritan HS, Fair Lawn HS, Morris Knolls HS, Nutley HS, Wayne Valley HS, Passaic HS, Passaic Valley HS, Pequannock Township HS and Saddle Brook HS.

Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Ticket prices are adults $12, seniors/students $7 at the gate.

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The MTHS Field Corps, under the direction of Director Chelsea Stebbins and Assistant Director Daniel Pasquale, will be performing its 2018 originally written program, “Elements.” This year’s corps is under the student leadership of Drum Major Julie Lee, Junior Drum Major Sean McAuley, Color Guard Captain Amy Testa, Color Guard Lieutenant Ashley Westergaard, Field Captain Ted Park, Chief Advocate Kimberly Chang, Assistant Advocate Maddie Bustamante, Brass Captain Venkat Gokaraju, Woodwind Captain Akshay Minocha, Woodwind Lieutenant Agrim Gupta, Battery Captain Jackson Kroll and Front Ensemble Captain Evelyn Ko.

The Montville Township High School Field Corps has the distinction of being the 2007 State and Northern States Champions.  In both 2011 and 2015, the MTHS Field Corps placed 1st in its division nationally, earning them the title of USBands National Champions. Most recently in 2016, the corps’ color guard was award “Best Color Guard” at both the state and national levels in their competing division, something all color guards dream of achieving. In addition, Montville’s Field Corps has won many countless caption awards throughout the years for Best Music, Best Overall Effect, Best Visual Effect, Best Percussion, and Best Color guard.

Having begun their season in early August, the MTHS Marching Band has devoted hundreds of hours into putting “Elements,” an original composition written by MTHS alumnus Taylor Goodson, on the field. While the title of “Elements” may lead audiences to assume some sort of relation to the periodic table or natural elements such as earth, wind, and fire, as color guard Lieutenant Ashley Westergard perfectly states, “...our show breaks off into something different and twists the meaning which makes it unique, something you wouldn’t expect.” 

Director Stebbins spoke to Tapinto Montville, discussing how the show came to be, "When we sat down to talk about the show design, our music composer, Taylor, brought up the idea of a show based on the elements of music. He had been toying around with this idea for a few years and really wanted to have Montville perform it. We all immediately loved the idea. It was new, different and really innovative. Being musicians ourselves, we thought it would be a great opportunity to base the show on a subject that we, as well as all of the students, are so passionate about. One of the reasons the students join marching band is because they have a love for music. Why not have them tell the story of how a piece of music starts in its infancy with rhythm and grows into the final product with a culmination of all the elements put together?”

“Elements” takes audiences along on a journey that follows one pianist/composer’s composition of a musical piece. The show explores rhythm, melody, harmony and experimentation as the composer works to create a final masterpiece that comes to fruition at the conclusion of the show. As Director Stebbins puts it, "You literally get to see a piece of music being 'built', so to speak, by the student performing the show." Drum Major Julie Lee added, “This show is unlike any other show we have out or any other marching band show in general in our division.” With seven competitions and countless more hours of practice lying ahead this season, the band is eager to maintain its standard of excellence. 

Regardless of the work that lies ahead, band members remain highly positive towards the season and are ready to take on the challenging work head-on. Best put by color guard Captain Amy Testa, “My expectation for the season is success. Not in the sense of winning first place, but in the fact that each member leaves everything on the field at each performance and works to the best of their ability at every practice. Real success for both band and color guard stands with the members’ determination to get better.”

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