WEST ORANGE, NJ - The award-winning West Orange High School Marching Mountaineers returned from Band Camp on Aug. 19 as parents and friends eagerly waited to see the band give their first preview performance of this year’s entire show titled “Defying Gravity.”

Deep into the Pocono Mountains, the band embarked on a six-day stay at Lake Owego Camp, located about 70 miles from West Orange. All participating members attend Band Camp each August, where all musical and visual aspects of the season’s show are assembled through extensive daylong rehearsals.

Each day began with basics blocks, where visual instructors guided members through exercises to develop and refine their marching technique. During the afternoons, marchers had to learn over 70 pages of drills to identify and coordinate each individual movement of the ten-minute show. The band rehearsed in sectionals, as winds, percussion, pit, and color guard individually practiced learning and memorizing music.

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“I believe this season holds the potential to be very successful as we completed our full show before the last day of band camp, which hasn't happened since 2009,” said senior Jordan Lewis, trumpet section leader. “The kids in the band really do demonstrate great commitment and dedication to the program even this early in the season.”

This year’s show is entitled “Defying Gravity”, and features “To Tame the Perilous Skies” by David Holsinger, “Diamonds” by pop singer Rihanna, and the show’s namesake, “Defying Gravity”, from the Broadway musical “Wicked.”

This show will be unlike any other in the band’s history, with the inclusion of senior Gabby Rodriguez and sophomore Gabby Florendo, who will provide vocals atop a custom-designed stage on the field.

“Our biggest competition is ourselves this upcoming season,” said Lewis. “I am hoping we have a motivated, energized group who will be dedicated until the end of the season."

“As a senior, I'm thankful to look back and say that marching band has offered me an experience like none other in the sense that I've built unbreakable friendships, incredible discipline, and a true passion for a great activity,” he concluded.

To view the Music Boosters schedule, as well as how you can get involved with the Music Boosters program, visit http://www.wohsmusic.org/.