HVCHS Marching Black and Gold to host competition Saturday

Nearly a dozen marching bands from throughout New Jersey will compete at Hopewell Valley Central High School on Saturday, September 17, at 3pm, hosted by Marching Black & Gold (MBG), the HVCHS marching band. Tickets will be open to the public so show your Ho-Val spirit, cheer on MBG, and check out the competition! Make sure to catch MBG perform at 6:30pm.

Due to scheduling issues and COVID, it has been four years since MBG hosted a band competition so the experience will be a new one for most of the current band members.

“Coming out of everything that has happened, we really wanted to do this for the group,” said David Schwartzer, MBG’s director, who described the event as been a source of excitement and pride for band members.

At the September competition, HVCHS will be hosting 11 visiting high schools from throughout New Jersey including: 

Riverside High School
Burlington Township High School
Delaware Valley Regional High School
Nottingham High School
Burlington City High School
Hightstown High School
Bordentown Regional High School
Robbinsville High School
Delran High School
Edison High School – NJ
South Brunswick High School
Hopewell Valley Central High School

For those who are new to the “marching band scene,” Schwartzer explained that band competitions are hosted throughout the fall all across the country. Bands typically belong to a sponsoring organization, in MBG’s case, USBands, and compete against similarly-sized nearby marching bands. Each season, bands put together a seven to nine minute production to perform at competitions before their peers as well as a panel of six to eight judges. Bands are judged on a wide ray of topics including anything from music performance to visual performance, and visual effect — how engaging it is to watch. From those, judges tally up scores and award placements (example: first, second, third and some “best of” awards). 

Tickets go on sale September 17 and will cost $15/ adults and $10/students and senior citizens (cash or credit). Funds raised by the event support the MBG band program, offsetting funding from the school district to purchase things “above and beyond to enhance the experience” of the students.

“[The event] goes beyond the fundraiser, It’s great for the students and a proud moment for them to have other marching bands come to their school — they have pride on their turf,” said Schwartzer.

At the end of the evening, Marching Black & Gold will perform and it is a moment that the band members will cherish. Schwartzer described the scene: “Our band usually performs in the middle of the day or early evening. [At our competition] the stadium is more full and it is dark —it’s fun to perform at night. The marching band kids are the show — it is their spotlight. I’m looking forward to seeing our students shine and how it builds pride in their school, town, and marching band program.”

For more information about Marching Black & Gold or this event, please visit https://www.hopewellvalleybands.org/marching-band.html

(Photos by Steven Levine, Noa Levine, and Jennifer Norton – Thank you!)

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