We’ve officially entered fall, which means one important thing for high schools across New Jersey - it’s officially football season! The season where student and community members alike spend their Friday nights sitting under the lights, cheering on our student athletes. However, no Friday night football game would be complete without the local high school marching band.

This week's Stepping Off with Mr. Bud features the Green Wave marching band of Monmouth County and the Toms River East Raider marching band of Ocean County.

Band Director: Robert Clark

Long Branch High School is proud to present The Spirit of the Green Wave. This ensemble is committed to building better students, citizens, and artists by nurturing applied discipline, aesthetic appreciation, time management, abstract thinking, and community mindedness.

Their 2016 show, Shades of Latin explores Latin music influences in pop. They begin with the Rafael Hernandez classic, “El Cumbanchero”. The band sets the tone for the show with a surprise opening that is sure to get the crowd involved. Next, they move to the rock world to feature two works by Carlos Santana.

First,the band visits his 1969 hit, “Evil Ways” a fan favorite that was featured at Woodstock. Then they present his beautiful melody from the song “Novus”, a track that was included on his 2002 album, Shaman. “Novus” was originally recorded as a duet with Placido Domingo, to highlight the duet concept we feature haunting echo trumpets at the end of the work.

Finally, the moves to current times with a mashup of Pitbull’s “I Know You Want Me” and “Llorando Se Fue” which is the primary sample from JLo’s “Dance the Night Away”. Preparing the show has been a lot of fun. The band hopes that you are entertained by their survey of the genre.

The Spirit of the Green Wave has received numerous awards and accolades including a USSBA Championship, The Cadets Award of Excellence and regular citation as one of the top performing arts programs in a NJ urban school by the Education Law Center and NJEA. They have performed in many locales, including NY Yankees Playoff & World Series Games, The Breeder's Cup, The Hambletonian, New York City Ticker Tape Parades, welcome home & deployment ceremonies for the US Army and the US Marines, and many community service events.

Toms River East marching band (Townsquare Media NJ)

Directors: Jessica Sanford, Mark Figueroa

The Toms River High School East Marching Raiders, under the direction of Jessica Sanford and Mark Figueroa, are celebrating 37 years of musical excellence in Toms River.

Like many high school marching bands, the Marching Raiders are an integral part of the school environment. Each Friday afternoon they can be found marching the hallways of the school, generating excitement and prepping the student body for that evening’s football game.

The Marching Raiders not only attend fall football games and pep rallies, but also perform each weekend in competition against other local bands. Their competitive season began on September 17th at Brick Memorial HS, where they placed first in their group and received the Best Visual, Best Guard, and Best Music awards.

On September 24th, at their second Band competition of the season, the Raider Band again, swept almost all captions including: Best Color Guard, Best Music, Best Overall Effect, Best Percussion and Best Visual, and improved almost 5 points, to a score of 77.850 and again, received the first place award in Group IIIA.

The students are excited to keep up the hard work and see what the rest of the season holds for them as they perform both locally and at larger venues such as MetLife Stadium, Rowan University, and J. Birney Crum Stadium in Allentown, PA.

“Our field show is really exciting and Egyptian themed. It features a huge pyramid and a talented flute soloist, sophomore band member Angela Rizzo” says drum major Maysi Salt. “This season is already off to a great start and has all the potential to be a fantastic one for the marching arts program at East,” co-drum major Andrea Rouse adds.

If you’d like to support the Marching Raiders, please visit marchingraiders.org or “Like” their Facebook page, Toms River HS East Bands. There you can find information about all of their upcoming performances and fundraisers, and keep up to date on everything happening with the Toms River East band program