Welcome to the
West Orange High School Marching Mountaineers
Pride, Dedication, Excellence
With over 100 members, the West Orange High School Marching Mountaineers is the largest co-curricular activity on the campus of West Orange High School, and has a well earned reputation as one of the northeast area's finest marching bands. The marching band is the only group at WOHS that uses a combination of precision, creativity, and physical fitness to achieve its goal of superior artistic performance. Through participation in rehearsals, performances, and team building activities, students develop aspects of leadership, discipline, and musicianship in a large group setting.
The Marching Mountaineers are known for performing an innovative and eclectic selection of music on the field. Classical music, Broadway selections, American favorites, and jazz standards have all been part of the band's repertoire for home football games, parades, and competitions. Over the course of the season, the band works to perfect its musical performance while moving through intricate, choreographed drill patterns. The color guard adds visual impact to the performance through the use of flags, rifles, sabers, and dance.
The band performs at numerous competitions throughout New Jersey as part of the New Jersey Marching Band Directors Association (NJMBDA), including their annual state championships at The College of New Jersey. The band also traditionally competes in a Bands of America (BOA) regional in the northeastern area. The band has been featured by the pix11 network’s own “Mr. G '' and has performed in many parades throughout the United States and Canada. The band also performs at every varsity football game, playing popular music in the stands, having fun, and presenting their field show at halftime.
Students of all grade levels participate together in this activity, but freshmen receive the greatest benefit of membership. Unlike other programs at WOHS, our newest members participate immediately to the same degree as veteran members. "Playing time" is not dependent upon ability or grade level - there is no "bench." All marching band members receive a varsity letter in their first year of participation... and EVERYBODY plays in EVERY performance. No audition is required, and students of WOHS may participate. Musicians have the choice of being members of the brass, woodwind, or percussion sections. Those more interested in movement or dance can choose to participate in the color guard.
Freshmen often comment on how the marching band helps the transition into high school both socially and academically, by providing a comfortable environment in which new friendships can be made and by providing positive junior and senior role models with whom they interact regularly.
ABOUT OUR SCHEDULE
All sections begin rehearsing in the spring and attend a week long Band Camp in August.
In September and October, the practice schedule is generally:
- Color Guard: Tuesday and Thursday evenings
- Woodwinds & Brass, All Percussion: Wed afternoons, Thursday evenings
- On most Fridays, the full band performs at football games and on Saturdays, the full band performs at local band competitions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How often does the marching band rehearse?
A: The marching band DOES NOT practice every day. There are two after school rehearsals or evening rehearsal during the week with football games on Friday night and competition performances occurring on Saturdays. Our regular rehearsal schedule begins on the first day of school and end the final week of October. In November the band only participates in football games.
Q: What will I get out of marching band?
A: Every person's contribution to vital to the success of the marching band. Because of this, band members often become a tightly knit group of friends regardless of grade. Musicians improve their playing abilities at an accelerated rate while color guard members learn the art of dance and movement.
Q: Can I still do other activities and be in the Marching Band?
A: Yes! With the marching band season ending in early November, members are not excluded from participating in other co-curricular or community activities. Many members participate in activities like winter and spring sports, and other school and outside of school musical activities.
Q: Can my parents get involved?
A: Parental involvement is one of the keys to the success of the Marching Mountaineers. The WOHS Music Boosters provide an avenue for parents to become involved in a meaningful way by serving as, assisting with moving equipment and props, arranging activities and fundraisers, and supporting the band as enthusiastic audience members.
Q: How will the time commitment required for marching band affect my grades?
A: Most marching band members are top students on the honor roll and are enrolled in several AP and honors level classes. Members usually find that their grades are actually higher during the marching band season than at any other time in the school year. Band members must learn how to manage their time in order to be successful on the field and in the classroom.