The Roxbury Band stood
respectfully, recognizing that our band was performing for them,
and the Roxbury fans cheered as loudly as our own East Orange
fans for the East Orange Unified Marching Band's opening show.
After the opening show,
the East Orange Unified Marching Band Members left the field,
ready to take their places in the stands and watch the kick-off.
Our band puts on a very
lively and entertaining show even from the stands. They hop up,
they dance, they wave their hands, they sing. Watch the video for
By comparison with the
East Orange Band, the Roxbury Band is huge. They have more
members and more instruments, but except for the drums, they do
not march and play at the same time except during the
choreographed formation moves on the field. They had electric
carts and tractors to haul on platforms of timpani and other
equipment (see what's going on in the background near the
stands). They spread props all over the field (shields and
swords) and had two conductors simultaneously conducting atop
tall step ladders. It was very impressive in that it showed a
large amount of money and school resources invested in the band.
Photo by Jim Gerrish
Our small East Orange
Unified Marching Band has to struggle just to remain in
existence. By contrast with the larger and wealthier Roxbury
Band, the spirit and enthusiasm of our band members and their
parents can be seen in our band performances at all times. The
flautist, Feman Padmore,
had an accident on his way to the school this morning. He fell
and split his lip. He could have gone back home, but he got
himself bandaged up and played his flute through the entire game.
Elijah Goode, like most of the other band members, was cold in
the frosty winter air. He played his clarinet with open fingertip
gloves because he gets better control of the keys that way. When
not playing, he rubbed his hands together to get warm. There are
many other stories like those, of students who had to make do
with broken instruments, or shoes too small or too big, and so
on. The important thing is that they all continue to show up,
game after game, and while some do drop out, the ones you see
here today are those who have stuck with the band just because
they love being a part of it.
Don't take my word for it. Check out the video
showing the band leaving Giant Stadium after their team lost the
game to Roxbury. They showed the same enthusiasm and energy upon
leaving at 1:00 PM as they did when they entered at 10:30 AM.
After the game, while waiting for the bus, the
band pauses outside Giant Stadium for a group photo. This has
been a day they will long remember, not because of who won or
lost the football game, but because of the experience of
participating in a first rate marching band that has come a long
way since those beginning days in Summer
of 2009. Remember?
Photo by Jim Gerrish.
It was about 2:00 PM when we got back to Cicely
Tyson School. Snow had begun to fall and the students were
anxious to get in out of the cold after a long, but successful
day with the band. Although sorry that the Jaguars had lost to
Roxbury, they knew that they had all done their best to cheer the
team on and represent East Orange at Giant Stadium.