SOMERVILLE, NJ - The Van Derveer Elementary School Fifth Grade Band is back for an encore performance at the Prudential Center in Newark Thursday night.
The 16,000 seat arena is home to the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League.
The young musicians, under the direction of Christine Wojewoda, will be joined by 100 supporters, including parents, family and friends.
The group will take in the first period of the Devils game against the Toronto Maple Leafs, and then will scurry out to the concourse where they will perform during the 20-minute break between the second and third periods, according to Wojewoda.
The teams face off at center ice at 7 p.m.
The band was to have performed on March 8, but were forced to postpone their appearance because of a snow storm. Their rescheduled performance happens to coincide with Fan Appreciation Night and Wojewoda is expecting an appreciative audience.
“The kids were disappointed when it snowed, but they can’t wait to perform, they’re jumping out of their seats,” she said Wednesday.
Well-rehearsed, the 39-member band will perform the Theme from “Jurassic Park;” an adaptation of the 1963 Kingsmen hit “Louie, Louie;” “When the Saints Go Marching In;” “Let’s Go ‘Ville,” familiar to those students who’ve attended Somerville schools; “Happy Birthday”and selections from the “Tradition of Excellence” Method Book.
The students will also be given complimentary tickets to visit the recently-installed Grammy's Museum, at the ice arena, one of only four in the country; the display includes a broad variety of Grammy's memorabilia, including a section devoted to New Jersey artists like Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen.
The students had to raise money to pay for their trip to the Prudential Center, with tickets costing $38. Several students raised enough money to pay for the tickets of family members, according to Wojewoda.
The Prudential Center hosts over 200 live events annually, from rock and Gospel concerts to college basketball and professional hockey games.
The Devils also offer community groups – karate clubs, dance groups and school groups - the opportunity to perform throughout the NHL season.
Wojewoda, who describes herself as a “huge” Devils fan, attends games frequently and was immediately hooked on the idea of her young musicians performing at a big-time venue when she first heard of the Devils’ Group Experience opportunity.
“It really hit me, I really need to do something like this with my fifth-grade band,” she said.
Jesse Parsh, who plays alto saxophone, raised the most money, enough to pay for himself and four family members. As a reward, he will get to ride on the Zamboni machine which dresses the ice before the referee drops the puck to start the game.