Education

Piscataway Superchiefs 39th Annual Band Festival: A Musical Space-Age Adventure

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The Piscataway Superchiefs exhibition performance, 'Apollo XIII'. Credits: Ken Simmons-TAPinto Piscataway
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The Piscataway Superchiefs exhibition performance, 'Apollo XIII'. Credits: Ken Simmons-TAPinto Piscataway
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Delaware Valley Golden Regiment Credits: Ken Simmons-TAPinto Piscataway
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South Brunswick Viking Marching Band Credits: Ken Simmons-TAPinto Piscataway
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Credits: Ken Simmons-TAPinto Piscataway
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Members of the Piscataway school board and band festival event organizers Credits: Ken Simmons-TAPinto Piscataway
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PISCATAWAY, NJ – Parents and other marching band supporters filled the stands at Piscataway High School’s Dominic R. Ciardi Athletic Field on Saturday, cheering on their favorite performances at the Superchiefs 39th Annual Band Festival.

Co-sponsored by U.S. Bands, which manages almost 150 scholastic band events across the country, this year’s festival featured nineteen high schools from around North and Central Jersey competing in the juried event, performing choreographed musical selections that highlighted this year’s space-age theme, Apollo XIII, Failure is Not an Option.

Each school’s performance included dance routines by their color guards, with some adding props and vocalists.

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The award winning Superchiefs Marching Band, under the direction of Dr. Christopher G. Sumner and Mr. Kenneth V. Zampella performed an exhibition program towards the end of the night, one that was their interpretation of the Apollo XIII lunar space mission from 1970.

Making a guest appearance was the World Famous Towson University Marching Band with their exhibition performance that concluded the festival, playing the school’s fight school for the spectators, followed by their 2016 competition program, Escape.

“Each year we try to have a university marching band perform so the high school students get exposure as to what the next level could look like for them,” said Piscataway school board member, Dr. Tom Connors.

Competing schools were awarded trophies for categories that included Best Music, Best Visual, Best Overall Effects, Best Percussion, and Best Color Guard.

Ensembles from around Middlesex County that competed included the East Brunswick Marching Band, the North Brunswick Raider Marching Band, and the Colonia High School Marching Patriots.

The Edison High School Marching Band took home first place for Group 3, as did The Old Bridge High School Marching Knights who won first place for Group 4 and the South Brunswick Vikings who won for Group 6.

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