Roxbury Bands kick off their 2015 competition season on Sat., Sept. 19, at Roxbury High School in Succasunna with the program’s most important event of the year, the 7th annual Roxbury Marching Band Classic. The Classic is hosted by the Roxbury High School Marching Gaels competition band, and the Roxbury Sound, who perform during halftime at all home football games. The Classic is an invitational competition of Regional High School Marching Bands from Northern and Central New Jersey, topped off by a showcased exhibition band. This year’s competing schools arelisted below, with the possibility the list may grow by show time.
This year’s featured exhibition band, The FREE Players Drum Corps. The FREE Players have entertained and amazed audiences all over the country as the only marching band of its kind whose members are comprised of adults with special needs and abilities. The FREE Players Drum Corps is part of a unique theatre arts curriculum for adult men and women with talent and similar interests who have autism and other developmental disabilities. Family Residences and Essential Enterprises, Inc. (FREE) founded in 1977 and headquartered in Old Bethpage,benefits and proudly supports more than 3,500 individuals with intellectual disabilities, mental illness and traumatic brain injury. Drum Corps has been therapeutic for many of the adults that attend the program, as rhythm is a powerful tool that permeates throughout the brain.
Drumming has been proven to reduce both mental and physical challenges that one may have and has enabled these men and women to work on their social skills as well as build a sense of unity and self-worth. The Drum Corps provides traditional parade style performances and stage performances similar to Broadway based themes that include a mixture of drumming, dancing,acting and singing. By performing in the community, FREE Players Drum Corps is helping to dissolve boundaries and educate the community on the abilities of individuals with disabilitiesrather than focusing on their differences. The program fosters and promotes independence, productivity and individual development in a fun, creative environment.
Gates open at 5 p.m., with a Competition Step off time at 6:15 p.m. Ticket prices are $10; $8 senior citizens/students with ID, and free for children four years old and younger.
Competing Marching Bands Exhibition Band include Chatham HS Wayne Hills HS; Immaculata HS Morristown HS Free Players Drum Corps; Mount Olive HS; Hillsborough HS; Morris Hills HS Host Bands; Roxbury Marching Gaels/ Roxbury Sound.
The event is hosted by the Roxbury HS Band Parents Association (RHSBPA) along with the High School Instrumental Program, led by Mr. Todd Nichols, RHS band director. Proceeds benefit all Roxbury High School band ensembles. For more information about this event and the Roxbury Instrumental Program, visit https://roxburybands.org.