RANDOLPH, NJ-- Nine Randolph High School students were accepted into the North Jersey Area Band (NJAB) after auditioning among hundreds of students from across the state on Dec. 7.

The nine accepted RHS students are seniors Julia Yan, Maggie Borinski, Alex Zager, Brandon Nayer and Lucas Melone; juniors Caroline Apt and Jason Mohr; and sophomores Beckett Fordahl and Ryan Borinski.

NJAB is an honor band comprised of selected students from 39 member high schools. Only students from these high schools are eligible to audition for the band. The purpose of the band is to enhance the skills of the advanced players in terms of preparation, music memorization and timeliness.

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“The students that audition for these honors groups are very dedicated,” said Diana Mays, the associate band director at RHS.  “They are taking on a lot of additional responsibility and a lot of independent preparation.”

A total of 153 students statewide were selected for the band this year, including nine RHS out of the 13 RHS students who auditioned. The audition consisted of a prepared solo, scales and a sight-reading component, the last of which students saw only 30 seconds before they performed it. Students from all grades in high school were eligible to audition. Students were required to have sponsorships from their band directors, stating that they were active participants in the music program, as well as an endorsement from the principal.

“I love band and the opportunities RHS has given me in regard to music and playing,” said Maggie Borinski, one of the drum majors for the RHS marching band. After auditioning for the previous three years, Borinski said she was excited to finally be a part of the honor band.

“North Jersey has really good music programs so the fact that our students are making these ensembles is really an achievement,” Mays said.

In preparation for the honor band concert, typical rehearsals last four hours, with the first having been held on Dec. 10, only three days after auditions. Since there are only four rehearsals prior their honor concert, students must be of advanced ability.

“Seeing the other horn players with their many talents have inspired me to be the best musician I can possibly be,” said Brandon Nayer, the first chair french horn player in the RHS wind ensemble. Nayer is one of 11 french horn players in the band.

“I think the music is challenging enough that it will test our musicianship, but will be really effective and sound good if we can pull it off,” said Borinski, who is one of six bassoon players in the band.

“Playing in Area Band has helped me strive to be a better musician,” Nayer said. Students began prepping their audition music at the end of last school year and have been working toward this acceptance for months.

The North Jersey Area Band concert will take place on Saturday, Jan. 11, at 2:00 p.m. at Mount Olive High School., with a snow date of Sunday, Jan. 12. For more information, visit www.njab.org.

Editor's Note: Laura Lucivero is an RHS student participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Randolph.