PATERSON, NJ – When Paterson Public Schools Superintendent Eileen Shafer announced her intention to form an All City Band to play at the halftime show of the Thanksgiving Classic the excitement was immediate.

Included among those at the first planning meeting was Dr. Thomas Page whose long history in music education in Paterson is well regarded and  Paterson City Councilwoman-at-Large Dr. Lilisa Mimms who told TAPinto Paterson that her time in the Marching 100, as a clarinet player, was a “great experience.”

“We practiced every morning at 6:00 a.m., we had to keep our grades up and be in class, we became leaders,” Mimms recounted, adding that for her and the other musicians involvement meant learning about, and exercising, discipline, accountability, and leadership. Asked what impact this effort, when successful, will have, Mimms didn’t hesitate to suggest that it will bring back “a sense of pride and unity, making sure history isn’t forgotten.”

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Click here to donate to Paterson Education Fund's GoFundMe in support of the All City Marching Band.

The effort, Shafer said, would ignite spirit and pride in Patersonians as the famed Marching 100 had in previous years.

“We want students and alumni from all of the district’s high school programs to participate at the Thanksgiving game,” said Shafer. “This is an effort to bring people throughout the Paterson community together through the talents of our students and our alumni.”

And now, with the countdown truly to showtime, Rosie Grant and the Paterson Education Fund have launched an effort to make sure that the musicians that take the field on November 27 don’t only sound good, they look good also.

“Due to budget restrictions, Paterson’s had no marching band for an entire generation,” Grant laments on the Go Fund Me page that has been established to help raise $5000 for “uniforms and supplies.”

“It will take a massive effort but the community is up to it,” she continues before thanking potential donors for supporting “this cause that means so much to our kids.”


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