By: Staff Writer Sayan Ghosh
Each year, the city of Newark holds a Newark Days celebration to commemorate the city’s founding in 1955. The celebration includes a parade in which several school bands perform. This year, on September 20, MSJ’s Marching Band performed at the parade, receiving several awards.
Newark Days has been celebrated since 1972, and takes place at the Newark Community Park and Community Center. The four-day festival includes a carnival, several booths, contests, as well as many other activities for families. One of the main highlights of the event is the parade, which goes down Newark Blvd. and ends at Cedar Blvd. In it, several high school and middle school bands, some from as far away as Half Moon Bay, perform for the celebration attendees.
This year, Marching Band received several accolades for its performance in the parade. It won 1st place in the High School Band, Class A category, the ID Unit category, the John Philip Sousa Award for best musical score, as well as the prize for having the highest total score (out of all categories) among all the bands which performed. Individually, Junior Sara Tsai won 1st place in the Drum Major (Mace) category. In addition, Color Guard received 2nd place among all flag teams at the parade.
Preparation for the event began in mid-August during the ensemble’s Band Camp. At the weeklong camp, the more experienced members assisted the incoming freshmen to become acquainted with the rest of the band. After the school year began, the group continued to work hard, resulting in a performance which went “exceptionally well”, according to Sophomore Jemmy Zhou.
“The weather was great, our unit performed really well, and overall it was a successful and enjoyable experience,” said Junior Sara Tsai. She also added, “After the parade, we had time to go to the fair to buy food and ride fun carnival rides, and then after the awards ceremony, we had some extra time to stay at the fair, because last year it was raining really hard. Ms. Kraft gave us some extra time to make up for last year’s tragedy.”
Marching Band will continue to perform at several events throughout the year. For example, it will attend a Veteran’s Day parade (location to be announced) on November 11 and the Tournament of Champions Band Review in Fairfield on November 15. All of the performances will lead to a tour of Europe which will be held in early spring 2015.
Photo Credits: Harrison Cheng