SOUTH PLAINFIELD - The distant beat of the bass drum echoing through South Plainfield with a pulsing cadence can only mean one thing…the South Plainfield Marching Band has begun preparing for the upcoming Marching Band Season. Wednesday, May 29th, practice kicked off and incoming freshmen had their first taste of the exciting combination of competition, performance, endurance and music that is the South Plainfield Marching Band. Registration is still open and new members are welcome to join the Color Guard and Band.
“I’m really excited about the competitive show this year,” said Band Director William Haughwout. “The kids are excited too. We’re ready to start. We’ve already read through the music, so we’re already rolling!”
The upcoming season will include a number of competitions, footballs games and even the band will even march in the Labor Day Parade. Band Camp at Camp Cayuga in Honesdale, PA, is a much-anticipated tradition that is where the foundation of the visual performance is learned along with a host of fun activities and infamous pranks. Lifelong friendships and fond memories are formed on the football field and Haughwout says he welcomes all who would like to participate in the Marching Band or Color Guard.
“If anyone is interested, experienced or not, we’re glad to have them join our family,” said Haughwout.
The Marching Band is also looking to expand the size of the Color Guard and add to the beauty of exotic costumes, intriguing choreography and vibrant colors as the flags of the Color Guard twist and spin in the air.
“The Color Guard are the dancers and flag twirlers, serving as the the visual element of the show,” added Haughwout. “It would be great if we had a really huge visual part of the show to compliment the music.”
The Marching Band pre-season practice begins with learning the music, which is the focus of Spring practices. Regular practices take place throughout the summer to perfect the music and learn the basics of marching. The majority of the choreography and visual direction of the formations of the performance is ingrained in students during Band Camp.
“Band Camp’s a really fun experience,” said Freshman Joel O. Arias. “It was a fantastic week. I met a lot of people and made great friends.”
Every year for the past thirty years, the South Plainfield Marching Band has traveled to Camp Cayuga in Honesdale, PA, for five days of Band Camp. Band Camp entails practice for the majority of the day, however, team building and activities are essential to learn to work together on the field and create a championship performance.
“I think Band Camp is a really good experience for the freshman to get to know the seniors and all the other grades,” said Freshman Colin Campos. “We had a lot of great experiences that apparently you get to tell stories about when you become a junior, which is also pretty fun.”
Weekly practices after Band Camp are every Monday and Wednesday during the school year from 5:30p.m. - 8:30p.m. through the end of Marching Band Season in November. The marching band performs at all varsity football games and competes most weekends in September and October. The band also marches in the South Plainfield Labor Day Parade and every other year in Walt Disney World.
Aside from performing halftime and pregame shows for varsity football games, the marching band competes most weekends in September and October. The band also marches in the South Plainfield Labor Day Parade and every other year in Walt Disney World.
In years past, the band has triumphed, even taking home the the Tournament of Bands New York Metropolitan Region 2017 Championship for their division. Last year, the Marching Band had a successful year of victories in competition and made memories that will last a lifetime along the way.
“I think the past year went great!” said Nina Roher, Music Booster Vice President. “The students worked hard and we had a great show. We also had the Disney trip in December that was very successful!”
This year, Haughwout anticipates another victorious season with a very exciting event on the calendar. This 2019 Marching Band Season, South Plainfield will host it’s first Home Marching Band Competition in five years.
The Home Show will take place on Sunday October 6th at 12p.m. at Frank Jost Field. Area marching band competitors will convene on South Plainfield’s home field for the chance to win trophies and high rankings in regional and state competition. Preparation has already begun for the event that will be an experience to remember for the entire town.
“This year we are back after a several year absence in hosting our own Home Marching Band Competition!” said Rossow. “This event has the potential to be a great fundraising opportunity for the Musical Arts program, and we will need all the help that we can get to make sure it is a successful and memorable day for the bands that participate and hopefully starts off a tradition of an annual event.”
An essential component of the success of the high school music program are the Music Boosters, a parent led organization that fundraises and helps support the high school Marching Band, Chorus and Orchestra in anyway they are needed.
“The Music Boosters are always looking for a helping hand in supporting the Musical Arts Programs in the SP School District,” said Rossow. “We encourage all parents/family members to attend these meetings and to become a member of the Music Boosters. We have various means of communication within of membership, with the Face Book page (closed group) and our Remind App notifications being the most frequent. We have social media flyers available that provide the instructions to join these social media sites.”
“Come to our meetings!” said Roher, “We meet on the first Wednesday every month at 7p.m. in the choir room at the high school. We really encourage parents to get involved! We have fun and welcome new ideas. We have the Home Show in October, we are going to need a lot of extra help! Come on out and support the Boosters!”
Committees for the various aspects of the event are already meeting and Music Boosters ask anyone interested in helping as a volunteer, committee member or sponsor, please visit the S.P.H.S. Music Boosters on Facebook.
To sign up for Marching Band, you can email the Band Director at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (908) 754-4620 ext. 8518, or look up the high school music department website at: https://sites.google.com/spboe.org/sphsmusic. The Music Program also has a lively S.P.H.S. Music Boosters Facebook Page filled with frequently updated information and important forms.