SCOTCH PLAINS  —The Scotch Plains-Fanwood Raider Marching Band hosted its 19th Annual Marching Band Festival at SPFHS Varsity Field Saturday, Sept. 16.

The packed stadium watched performances from 10 of New Jersey's top marching bands: Westfield, Weehawken, Cranford, East Brunswick, Fair Lawn, Chatham, Bridgewater-Raritan, Immaculata, Edison and  Westfield. J.P. Stevens was presented with the top award for its musical and visual presentation.

With 134-members, the Marching Blue Devils placed second in Group 6 Open with a score of 75.95.

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The WHS band's production is titled “Simply Distorted.” The show is designed to challenge audiences by distorting their perception of sound and sight, according band director Chris Vitle. Musical selections include Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring,” “1,000 Airplanes on the Roof” by Philip Glass, “Creep” by Radiohead and Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Danse Macabre.”

This year the WHS band will travel to the Bands of America Newark Regional for the second time ever as well as appearances at USBands competitions at Hillsborough High School, East Brunswick High School and the New Jersey State Championships at Rutgers University, he said.

The Blue Devils are led this year by drum majors Nadia Matin, Benjamin Kevelson and Mary Joy Sidhom. Find out more about the Westfield High School Bands by visiting their website at

The competition Saturday concluded with a performance by the 165-member SPFHS Raider Marching Band of its 2017 show, “ELEMENTS: Water, Earth, Fire & Air.” As the host band, the Raiders presentation was not judged in the competition.