HOPEWELL: High school to host second annual USBands competition


Hopewell Valley Central High School’s Marching Black and Gold

Weeks of preparation prior to the school year, as well as ongoing practice after school, will take center stage next month as Hopewell Valley Central High School’s Marching Black and Gold is set to host its second national competi´tion.
On Saturday, Oct. 8, the high school’s marching band and 10 others from as far as Virginia will vie for top honors dur´ing the USBands “Music in Motion” competition. This will be the second consecutive year that Hopewell Valley Central High School will host a USBands competition at Ackerson Field. “Not only is it an honor to host a USBands competition, it is a great way to celebrate our kids, their hard work and their talents,” band director David Schwartzer said. “I’m glad we are able to host this show for the second year in a row.”
Formed in 1988, USBands is a program of Youth Education in the Arts, whose mission is to support the character development of young people through participation in the performing arts. For four hours, between 3:30 and 7:30 p.m., bands from the smallest to largest classes will perform, including South Brunswick, Bridgewater-Raritan, Nottingham, Hightstown, Robbinsville, Rahway, South Hunterdon, Voorhees and Po´tamac Falls High School from Sterling, Virginia.
Officials said hosting a competition has been an ambitious undertaking, requiring the participation of not only band members, but of band parents, the Music and Theatre Parents Association and the administrations of both the district and high school.
Along with competing for first place in their respective class divisions, the bands will also compete for awards in mu´sic performance, visual performance, overall effect, color guard and percussion.
In preparation for this year’s competition, the Marching Black and Gold has been performing its 2016 show “Take to the Skies” during football games and regional competitions.
Band representatives said the performance aims to “chronicle the advent of flight.” This year’s show also marks the band’s tenth anniversary of performance and competition.The competition is open to the general public and the surrounding community is invited to attend. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students under 18 years old and seniors over 65 years old. Children four years old and under can en´ter for free.
Though the show will begin at 3:30 p.m., the Marching Black and Gold are slated to start at 6:20 p.m., with an awards ceremony scheduled to take place shortly after their performance. 