NEWARK, NJ - The Weequahic High School Marching Band was honored by the Essex County Freeholders for winning a national band competition in Florida in May.

At the 2019 Orlando All-star Music Festival in Orlando, the Weequahic band finished in first place in the marching competition with an “excellent” rating and first place in the percussion competition with a “superior” rating, making them the overall champions of the event. 

“Even though our equipment is inferior, our skills are not.” Darryl Taylor Sr. who coaches the team. “We’re in an auditorium playing for hours every day. They sacrificed their time, their energy, and childhood fun to be better than the rest.” 

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The band is comprised of students from 4th grade through 12th grade, ranging in age from 10-18 years old. Because many of the feeder elementary schools to Weequahic High School do not have music programs, the school allows elementary school students to participate and develop their love of music. 

“Anything that we can do to help our children stay off the street, we need to come together to support, finance, and do whatever we can to give these kids the opportunity to be great,” Taylor said.