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.

Toms River North Mighty Mariners
Director: George Powers
Assistant Director:  Jonathan Grill.

The Toms River North Mariners Band are off to a fantastic start this year, marching 83 members strong. They perform at football games, the Tournament of Bands marching band circuit and local parades. In fact, just this past week, at Brick Memorial, the Mariners scored one of their highest scores in marching band, this early in the season.

The musical theme for this years group is called: “what is…?” There are 3 movements: Joy, Love and Hope, and Peace. The Mariner Band is noted for their unique flavor and creativity, and this year is one of the best.

Musical arrangements are written by Key Poulan. percussion arrangements by written by Marty Griffin and the drill design is by George Powers, and Chris Burbank. This year’s Drum Major is Joseph Elmo.

On October 22 at Toms River North High School located at1245 Old Freehold Road, the Toms River North Band Parents Association, will be hostthe Tournament of Bands NJ State Championships starting at 11 a.m.. There will be 30 plus marching bands in competition for NJ State honors. For further information click here

College Stories

Part II of Stepping Off With Mr. Bud today, will feature some of our local Band students, who have not had enough high school band, and are performing in college and universities bands and music programs.

Our first student is: Erika Richardson who is a member of the Temple University Diamond Marching Band. Erika is a Early Childhood Education and Special Education major.  "I've always been in it and I couldn't imagine my life without colorguard! It has introduced me to my best friends and gives me something, outside of the classroom, to be passionate about. Is it tough? Of course, it is. It's hard at times because we learn a new show for every football game but it's totally worth it. I can't think of anything I'd rather put all my free time into," Ricahrdson said.
Michael Capasso is the University of New Haven Chargers marching band “Charlie the Charger”.

His major is undecided right now. “I am in band because it was my favorite activity in high school and I wanted to continue to enjoy it. I couldn't see myself going to school without doing band.” I definitely recommend doing band in college. I spend all of this time with great friends, and we all love performing and spending time together," Capasso said. "I've only been in college for 2 months, and I've made a bunch of awesome friends, thanks to band. One time during a break at practice, a friend of mine on snare made a funny new dance move, called the "T-City Bump". We even incorporated it into the show. It makes college fun, especially after a long day of classes."

Samantha (Sam) Boryeskne, a music education major at Montclair State University, is involved with the Red Hawks Pep Band and Symphonic Band

"Because I love music and I am so excited to be involved in whatever I can. It is very tough, yes. I would recommend for those who have already had a rigorous musical regiment in place before they go off to college," Boryeskne said. "Also, research your school’s music program and professors in great depth! I would definitely recommend Montclair State for their music program but only if you’re one hundred percent ready to go neck deep into your practice and ready to leave home if necessary for you!"
Boryeskne found a college band to be very different from a high school band.  "There is much more expected of you as a musician, student and person over-all. It is also slightly harder to find a niche here than in high school because there are so many people."