The new year continues to bring unprecedented awards for the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Band.
On Jan. 8, the band held the first ever "BRHS Jazz Plus Alumni" performance at the high school where alumni from the music department were invited to play along with the jazz band. The idea was created by artistic director Larry Markiewicz, and was quickly circulated by word of mouth and social networks to the alumni by the current jazz band students.
With the help of 2012 alumni and 2012 Drum Major Nick Mossa, 12 BRHS alumni played on stage with the current band. There were no more than two open rehearsals for the alumni and band to get together to select charts and connect or reconnect.
On Dec. 8, the Central Jersey Region Band Auditions were held at John P. Stevens High School in Edison. Almost 2,000 wind players, percussionists, string players and vocalists descended upon the North Edison campus to compete for a spot in one of the regional ensembles.
The BRHS band surpassed an all-time high watermark, and claimed 34 band acceptances into the Central Jersey Region II Band Ensembles. Each student who auditioned for placement in an Ensemble was recognized at the Jan 10 BRHS Winter Concert, and each student who made a Region Band Ensemble was personally recognized that evening.
The current seniors accepted into the region band are flute player Sara Laitusis , Symphonic Band 9th Chair; bassoon player Scott Gulbin, Orchestra 2nd Chair; Eb Clarinet player Dan Philipscheck, Symphonic Band 1st Chair, 2nd in the entire region; clarinet player Justin Liu, Symphonic Band 11th Chair; alto sax player Stephen Zeng, Symphonic Band 2nd Chair; trumpet player Brian Jeremiah, 5th Chair Wind Ensemble; trumpet player Devenny Bennett, Symphonic Band 13th Chair; french horn player Will Gulbin, Wind Ensemble 5th Chair; french horn player Michael Feusse, Symphonic Band 2nd Chair; french horn player Zachary Kautz, Symphonic Band 4th Chair; trombone player A. Yalamanchili, Wind Ensemble 2nd Chair; trombone player Dan Costello, Wind Ensemble 3rd Chair; trombone player Eric Stone, Symphonic Band 3rd Chair; euphonium player Nic Schrum, Wind Ensemble 1st Chair, Best in Entire Region; tuba player Chris Aiello, Wind Ensemble 2nd Chair, 2nd in the entire region; tuba player John Mailot, Symphonic Band 3rd Chair.
On Jan. 13, the Central Jersey Music Educators Association Region Concert (CJMEA) was held at Montgomery High School, where BRHS musicians held seven seats in the Orchestra, 14 in the Symphonic Band and 13 in the Wind Ensemble.
Last year’s 2012 Honors Wind Ensemble—which included sophomores, juniors and the class of 2012 seniors—submitted a CD to the Mid-Atlantic Honors Wind Band Festival and through blind adjudication via an independent panel of judges from across the Mid-Atlantic Region of the country.
This festival invites just the top three bands to perform, and BRHS was awarded a place. This prestigious event will happen at Rutgers University on March 1 at Nicholas Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.
In recent years, bands from New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Connecticut have performed at this event, and BRHS has performed at this event two other times in the past.
More exciting performances are coming up as the BRHS Symphonic and Wind Ensemble bands will perform at Carnegie Hall on March 15. They will have the opportunity to perform on stage and walk backstage for a tour.