MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township High School Field Corps hosted its 12th annual Mustang classic competition on Oct. 1, when 17 bands took to the field to compete in eight levels. The MTHS band also performed its original show entitled “Scorch,” but as hosts did not compete.

Area competing bands included Parsippany High School, Morris Knolls High School, Morris Hills High School, Pequannock Township High School and Wayne Valley High School. Bands traveled from as far as Vernon and Port Chester. More than 1200 musicians and color guards performed.

Bands were adjudicated by representatives from U.S. Bands and grouped into divisions based on the size and skill level of the band.

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Four separate judges are used to calculate the total score. Each ranks and rates the band in a specific category, such as music individual, music ensemble, visual performance, and overall effect. For this particular competition, there were also percussion and color guard judges, but these scores do not go into the total scores.

The Passaic Valley High School Marching Band in Little Falls came in first place in group “2-A” performing music from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” Their director is Mike DeLuccia and their drum major is Matt Kania. Their color guard captains are Jessica Gatta and Megan Twestan. They also won caption awards for Best Color Guard, Best Music and Best Visual in that division.

Morris Hills High School’s Scarlett Knights marching band performed its show called “Empire.” The production was inspired by the construction of the Empire State Building. They were the only contenders in the group 3 open division.

“Through music, drill, choreography and color guard work, the Scarlet Knights took the audience back in time with a late 1920s and early 1930s New York city vibe to show the development of one of the world’s most iconic locations,” said Director of Bands Richard Hartsuiker.

Pequannock Township High School placed first in the group 3-A division. Parsippany High School placed first in the group 4-A division. West Orange, Passaic and Passaic High Schools took first place in the 5-A, 5 Open and 6-A divisions, respectively.

Following the bands’ performances, the 65-member Montville Township High School marching band performed its original composition, “Scorch.” The four-movement piece told the story of fire, from emergence to burning out to rebirth. Student leaders of the marching band are Drum Major Kayla Westergaard, Assistant Drum Major Vicki Iasso and Color Guard Captains Natalie Sliwowski and Megan Testa.

To see a short video of excerpts from the performance, click:


“We were so glad that the weather held and we were able to have the competition outside,” said Kathleen Haft, co-chair for the event. “The 17 bands performing varied in size, and each had its own unique show. All in the all, the day was a tremendous success.”

To see the full results, click: Montville Competition Results