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Jackson Liberty band earns honors

JACKSON – For the first time in the history of Jackson Liberty High School, the Lion Band has earned the title of state champion.

According to a press release, the members of the Lion Band traveled to Toms River North High School on Oct. 21 and won the Tournament of Bands Group 4A title.

On Oct. 22, the band won the Tournament of Bands Regionals 4A title at West Essex High School, North Caldwell.

Speaking about the band’s achievements, senior Mike DeBlasi said, “The feeling when we heard our name announced as state champions was a rush of emotions. This will certainly be a memory that will last forever.”

Band director Scott Katona said, “We have great students, parents and staff members who all worked extremely hard to make this show a memorable one. I have been their biggest fan all year and I am extremely proud of their accomplishments.”

The Jackson Liberty band began the 2017 season by leading Miss New Jersey down the Atlantic City boardwalk in the Miss America Parade. The band also performed in the opening ceremonies for the Pulaski Day Parade on Fifth Avenue in New York City, according to the press release.

At various competitions, the band received five Best Overall Grand Champion awards, which includes Best Music, Best Percussion and Best Color Guard.

On Nov. 4, the Jackson Liberty band traveled to Harrisburg, Pa., to compete
for the title of Atlantic Coast champions.

Following performances by 25 bands, Jackson Liberty had the highest score of 93.65 and earned the title of Atlantic Coast champions, according to a press release.

This is the third and final title a band can earn while competing in the Tournament of Bands competitive circuit. In previous weeks, the band was named state champions and New York Metropolitan Region champions.

“To come home with three banners and hold three titles in one year is quite an accomplishment,” Katona said.

For Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 23, the Jackson Liberty Lion Band was the only band chosen to do a live performance and “mini” field show in the Philadelphia Thanksgiving Day Parade, according to the press release.

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