by Jonathan Bergman
The WHS Marching Band notched a historic victory on Sunday in Allentown, PA by winning the USBands National Championships in their group.
In addition to winning first place in their group, Westfield’s performance of The Caged Bird Sings also won the awards of Best Music and Best Overall Effect, according to Director of Bands Mr. Chris Vitale.
Vitale said Westfield competed in Group 5A for the first time this year, meeting the minimum 100-person size needed to compete in the group with 101 WHS students. He also said that last Sunday’s win was the first time the WHS Marching Band had won the National Championship.
He added: “I was happy for the students…We have 23 seniors in the marching band this year. And all of them have been in the marching band for the last four years. They’re great leaders, they’re great students, they’re great members of the band, so I was most happy with them to get the experience.”
Hi’s Eye asked members of the band to to reflect on the win:
Senior Coby Sagal: “Winning the National Championship was the best way to finish off this season. It really shows the hard work that everyone put in to the activity to make the band the best it has ever been.”
Senior Albert Chen: “To be able to work together all these years and earn such an amazing accomplishment has been extremely rewarding.”
Junior Michael Hauge: “Our activity is about a lot more than just winning. The beauty of the activity is that you get to attempt something that is incredibly difficult and perform it at a high level with your peers; the bonds we share are more important than any trophy.”
Senior Sam Gargiulo: “I can leave knowing that our four years of dedication won us a national championship; we are proud to be the senior class that led the band to victory.”
Senior Michael Bergman: “Our show, The Caged Bird Sings attempts to portray emotions of sadness, anger, loneliness and happiness through vivid imagery and music. Our victory at Nationals symbolizes the success of our intention to connect emotionally with our audience.”
Senior Lauren Schnepf: “Especially for the seniors, it was the best way to end the four years we spent together, and the only place the band can go in future years is up.”
additional reporting by Molly Bandelli and Caroline Barry