ROXBURY, NJ – On the heels of performing at a N.Y. Jets game, the Roxbury High School band program spread holiday cheer locally Saturday at its second annual Holiday Pops Concert, an event that saw almost double the audience compared to last year.

Following the holiday music concert by the Honors Wind Symphony, a show that got the youngest guests up and dancing, the band program members offered free hot chocolate, coffee and snacks.

The little ones enjoyed a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus and made crafts including Christmas ornaments. The band program accepted donations for Roxbury Social Services rather than charging admissions.

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About 100 people attended, nearly doubling last year’s head count, according to Mike Mangano, president of the Roxbury High School Band Parents Association.

“Last year was a big hit and this year seems even better,” he said.

Robxury High School Director of Bands Jeffrey Conrad started the concert with hopes it would become a community tradition. “My real inspiration was my children,” he said. “I wanted to create a concert for families that was short and sweet with music that was accessible to kids.”

The Holiday Pops Concert is an opportunity to showcase musical talent, but Conrad said the event is also about building Roxbury’s musical community.

“From our end, it’s important that people outside our normal circle of family and friends of the band program get to see what it is we do,” Conrad said. “My hope is that we continue to reinforce music and the arts as an integral part of this community.”

Gridiron Music in the Meadowlands

Earlier this month, thousands of people got to hear the band in action when it took to the field at a National Football League game. 

About 100 members of the school's marching band performed at a crowded MetLife Stadium on Dec. 13 when the Jets took on the Dolphins.

Members of the Roxbury Sound, Roxbury High School’s high energy football band, performed at multiple locations for large crowds of tailgaters throughout the morning. Then, “about 20 minutes before kick-off, students had a chance to perform a portion of their halftime show on the field of MetLife as part of the stadium’s pre-game entertainment,” said Conrad.

Roxbury Sound comprises students in grades 8-12 and typically performs at all Roxbury High School Varsity Football home games. “This year, the group was presented with the opportunity to showcase their talents on a grand scale and were proud to represent their community and band program at MetLife Stadium,” said Conrad.

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