“We have 11 bands this year (from high schools around New Jersey). It’s exciting because it’s bigger and it’s better and like we get to perform in front of a lot of people ‘cause we’re the last ones on,” says Weehawken High School senior Paulette Rodriguez.
The Weehawken Marching Band is the 2013 USBands Group 1A New Jersey State and National Champions.
“I couldn’t be prouder to be the director of this band, the kids just, ya know, put a smile on your face every single time they go out and perform,” says band director Michael Lichtenfeld.
For senior Nagham Dahboul and the others, the next step is scary after dedicating four years of their lives to marching band.
“A lot of us are like, just thinking of the future…and we never want to stop doing this, we love it so much,” Dahboul says. “It’s just a close-knit, like family feeling with everyone and just being able to perform… and knowing, that like you’re good enough. And I feel like band kind of brings the best out in everybody.”
According to the man who led them to the last championship, 2014 is a more challenging competition… but Weehawken holds their own.
“So far we’ve been doing very well. We’ve had many first place finishes, along with a second place finish – so things are on the up and up, and we’re gearing up for our national championship performance on November 15 at MetLife Stadium,” Lichtenfeld says.
Jillian Risberg, HCTV