Marching Band Reflects on Another Big Season

Lily Coniglio, contributor

As the 2021 Marching Band season comes to an end, many students are reflecting on the significance of their participation.

On August 10, 2021, members of the New Providence High School Marching Band emerged from their isolation and greeted each other for the first time. After seventy-five days of engraving their show, Frost, into the turf of Lieder Field, they placed first in the State Championships competition at Old Bridge High School. A week later, they placed third in the National Championships competition in the illustrious venue of MetLife Stadium. While the band’s success in these competitions was quite exhilarating, it was not the main cause for the emotions brought on by the conclusion of the season.

During their 2020 season, the Marching Band was not able to compete due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ability to learn a full show and attend in-person competitions this year “was a return to normal life after everything was canceled due to COVID-19,” said brass captain Scott Regan. 

Marching Band Director Mr. Niedziejko added that the returning members who missed out on the full experience last year “helped inspire all of [the] 1st and second-year members a great deal.” 

His favorite memory from this season was the band’s first competition at MetLife Stadium, which was the first competition ever for both freshmen and sophomores. Mr. Niedziejko was very satisfied with the band’s performance, especially considering all of the hurdles they crossed to get there: “The performance was great and the pride the group displayed performing was touching and very memorable!”

In reflection of the band’s 2021 season, several students highlighted their joy and gratitude for the chance to improve at one of their greatest passions. Flute soloist Kanya Srithong, an NPHS junior, was extremely thankful for the opportunity to work with Mr. Niedziejko and the other staff members: “Just seeing how hard they worked at getting the technical aspects of the solo right definitely encouraged me to try harder,” she noted. 

Srithong played a solo in the opening of the show this year. She said she “was trying to communicate the idea of snowflakes falling.” Her beautiful melody was enough to send a chill down everyone’s spines, and from there the show was in full swing. Over the course of seven minutes, the band depicted a frozen wonderland through their physical movements and instrumental voices.

Marching Band also allows students to truly connect with one another and share their love of music. Throughout the season, this year’s participants continued to pick each other up both on and off the field: “Singing songs on the bus and anxiously waiting for awards really allowed me to bond with everyone,” said freshman Reese Hageman

The students were able to spend even more time together due to the incredible dedication of the NPMB Bandwagon. The Bandwagon has held many bonding events this year, including a band barbecue, a pre-competition breakfast, multiple pizza lunches, and countless other activities.

The only way to understand the true value of Marching Band is to experience it yourself. Regan encourages other students to participate in Marching Band for the positive effects it will have on their character.

“Almost everyone who has been through the band program has come out as a better version of themselves,” he said. 

Likewise, Mr. Niedziejko said: “Students participating in Marching Band become or embellish their responsibility, their efficiency, and their commitment to excellence in things that they do.”