Verona Festival of Bands 2012

Media Maker Don Grossmann provides a closer look at the show at Verona HS this past Saturday

Verona High School’s 2012 Festival of Bands featured 13 marching bands entertaining a packed crowd on a beautiful, early-fall evening. The competition had to be moved from Verona’s main stadium due to a 15-foot sinkhole that emerged in late August. The temporary stands had less capacity than the main stadium, so standing room only was the norm. Complaints were limited as the great music, marching and flags made up for the minor inconveniences.


In Group 1 A, Morristown presented an “Unexpected Hero” program based on video game themes and captured all awards (67.25).

Belleville followed in Group 2 A with a presentation of “Beatlemania,” featuring several well-known Beatles’ songs (69.125).

Group 3 A featured five bands in competition. Nutley (74.0) narrowly edged out Ridge (73.9) by only one tenth of a point. Nutley’s performance of “Night Watch” captured the Best Music and Best Visual awards, while Ridge’s performance of “The Mask of Zorro” captured the Best Effect award. These two schools will compete against each other again at the New Jersey State Championships.

Columbia’s Group 3 A performance of “Phantom” placed third (71.7) and featured music from Phantom of the Opera. Passaic Valley’s “Illumination: From Darkness to Light” (69.85) and Suffern (NY)’s “Brass Revolution” placed fourth and fifth respectively.

Glen Ridge was the only entrant in Group 3 Open, and their performance of jazz songs from the 1940s included a pit crew dressed in period fashion (74.0).

Bloomfield was the only entrant in Group 4 A. Their performance featured music from Mussorgsky’s classic composition “Pictures at an Exhibition” (75.425).


Two outstanding bands competed in Group 5 A. Somerville’s performance of “Freedom” captured first place (77.975) and all caption awards. West Milford’s performance of “Clash of the Clans” placed second (76.45) and featured the unique sound of bagpipes integrated into the marching band. These two bands will compete against each other again at next week’s Yamaha Cup at MetLife Stadium.


In Group 6 A, Port Chester (NY)’s performance of music from The Lion King concluded the competitive portion of the program and achieved the highest score (78.0) of all competing bands.

The host Verona band impressed all attendees with their exhibition performance of “Romeo and Juliet.” The concluding awards ceremony featured a drum line with representatives from all competing schools.


Photos by USBands Media Maker John Yurkin


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