This story was written and contributed to The Jefferson Chronicle by Jefferson Township High School student Josh Dyl. The story was written prior to the JTHS Marching Band’s planned attendance in Camp Hill, PA on November 4. 

The Jefferson Township Marching Band will be going to Camp Hill, Pennsylvania on November 4 to receive their final placement and score of the 2017 season. This will only be achieved if the band practices well and puts in all the effort they possibly can to earn a top five ranking at championships.

In this season, the band had the opportunity to showcase some of Jefferson’s talented musicians. These include trumpetists senior Ryan Schmidt and junior Nathan Rowe, violinist sophomore Kristine Bartley, clarinetist junior Alyssa DeNino, horn player sophomore Kaleb Williams, saxophonist junior Amber Whitman, tubist freshman Lucas Havriliak, and tenor saxophonist junior James Knapik.

“While it was stressful at first, the benefits of playing in such a manner made it worth while and it was a great time,” DeNino said.

Leading up to championships, the band has been feeding in effort into the drill and music, as well as visual aspects such as technique and visual effects to be perfected. On October 31, an all-music rehearsal was held to make adjustments and better the music.

However, just like any other well-sculpted team, Jefferson does have strengths and weaknesses. Jefferson has a magnificent tone quality, as well as an award-winning percussion. They also have been awarded with a good visual appearance in previous shows. Unfortunately, there is still work to be done.

“A weakness that we have is some of us still step off on the wrong foot. A strength we have is that I think we are all ready,” junior assistant drum major Julie Murdter said.

The color guard has also pulled themselves into a strong tie, and they are ready to give it their all at Camp Hill. The only thing the guard will have to fight for is the Pennsylvania wind.

“Wind. They are not used to wind…they have been working really hard…they really have been pulling it together…I think they will do well,” color guard instructor Heather Varner said.

Union and South Plainfield have made their way up the ranks to the top five. Union currently been awarded a 90.140 on their most recent show, and are seated fifth. South Plainfield has most recently been awarded a 90.575, and are in third place.

At competitions, it is exceedingly unlikely for a band to get a lower score than previous weeks at competitions. At the most previous competition on October 22 at West Essex, the Falcons scored an 89.345, the highest yet of the 2017 season.

Because this show has been known to be a difficult one to be orchestrated, the band has had a hard time meeting and exceeding the previous season’s scores. This time last year, the band’s most recent score was a 91.030, but this year, the band has an 89.345, which is approximately 1.685 points lower than last year.

“No, our band is smaller and a lot of new members have come. It is not the same,” senior trombonist Brianna Ruzika said regarding the band meeting last year’s standards at championships.

The season for the Falcons has come to an end. The Falcons will continue to do pep band at the final football game next Friday, but are done however performing their 2017 season show after Saturday.

“I’m very proud of our accomplishments. We came far from the beginning of the season. Thank you to everyone for making my senior year great. I wish the best of luck in the future,” senior drum major Allie Cheff said.

The 2017-18 JTHS Falcon Marching band, pictured. (Photo: Maria Weiskott)

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