BASKING RIDGE, NJ, October 9, 2019 – Ridge Marching Band triumphed at the Yamaha Cup Competition, taking home 2nd Place in Group IV-A for their overall performance with a total score of 83.570. Ridge Marching Band won top honors for Caption Awards in the categories of Best Color Guard and Best Visuals. The band also was recognized with The Cadets Award of Excellence, which is bestowed to the school that exemplifies the pursuit of entertainment, creativity and excellence, and represents the commitment to music as a platform to teach life lessons. The Yamaha Cup Competition is organized by US Bands and was held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford on October 5.
Ridge Marching Band also prevailed the previous week, in a competition at Piscataway High School, winning first place overall in Group IV-A with a total score of 80.875, and top honors for Best Music, Best Overall Effect, Best Percussion and Best Color Guard.
The 95-member Ridge Marching Band performed this year’s show, “Dark Side of the Moon,” which depicts lunar milestones, pairing celestial musical selections with vivid on-field props and majestic choreography. The show includes selections from well-known cosmic musical pieces, including: “Space Oddity,” by David Bowie; “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” by Richard Strauss; “Brain Damage,” by Pink Floyd; “Enterprising Young Men,” from the Star Trek soundtrack, composed by Michael Giacchino; and the 1980’s popular hit “Walking on the Moon,” by British rock band The Police.
“I could not be more pleased with our 1st and 2nd Place finishes in competition season so far,” said Band Director Dan Zugale. “Winning the Cadets Award of Excellence is testament to our students’ fierce commitment to improve as an ensemble. We are poised to build on our progress going into upcoming competitions and leading up to NJ State Championships.”
Zugale is in his 11th year as Director of Bands at Ridge High School. He is aided by Clay Beyert, Assistant Director; George Mattis, Drill Writer; Nicole Hunnemeder and Mark Fabio, Winds Music Instructors; Julia Fackelman and Dylan Lettie, Percussion Music Instructors; Joe Keefe, Pit Arranger; Tom Wang, Captain Head and Battery Arranger; Sam Aref, Color Guard Captain Head and Stephen Girard, Color Guard Instructor.
A total of 11 Student Leaders direct this year’s ensemble, including: Drum Majors Gillian Begg and Katie Vollmar, and section leaders for High Woodwinds: Tommy Forzani; Saxes: Hiren Solanki; High Brass: Kevin Way; Low Brass: Matt Freedberg; Battery: Owen Rhatican; Percussion: Beth Polito; and Color Guard Leaders: Maggie Josling and Brianna Nemes. The Band Manager is Sumay Sethi.
While the Ridge Marching Band plays at half-time of every home game and pre-game at almost every game on the road, they also compete around the region in multi-school competitions. Ridge Marching Band will continue to face strong competition next at Somerville High School on October 12 and its own Home Competition on October 19. The Band will travel to the NJ State Championships at Rowan University in Glassboro, NJ, on October 27.
The Ridge Marching Band will host the 10th Anniversary of its Home Competition “Ridge Marching Madness,” on Lee Field on October 19, where Ridge High School will welcome 14 area bands to compete in a line-up of creative musical arrangements, movement and pageantry.