Absegami High School Marching Braves hosted their 40th annual band competition on Saturday, Oct. 2. Throughout the course of the evening, over 400 performers from eight area high schools took to the field in front of a full stadium crowd. The evening concluded with the Absegami Band performing in exhibition.
“It was amazing for our students to be able to perform to such a supportive home crowd. While we are not beyond the pandemic, it is a very different experience in comparison with what was possible last year. Seeing what each school has been able to put together in this year of rebuilding is very inspiring, and I know we were extremely excited to host on our campus, despite the planning and work that goes into it,” said Patrick O’Keefe, Absegami director of bands.
In addition to Absegami, bands from Millville, Penns Grove, Mainland, Hammonton, Oakcrest, Deptford and Egg Harbor Township High schools were in attendance. The competition was an event under the Tournament of Bands circuit, where schools are scored and placed in the areas of music, visual and general effect. Bands compete in groups based on size. While Absegami was not given an award as a result of hosting and exhibition, they did post the highest score, not only of their group, but of the overall show. This was also the case in their prior show at Southern Regional High School.
“We have a great group of kids that are working long hours and committed to putting out a high level of performance every week. I am extremely proud of what we are doing here, and take very seriously the positive impact this activity can have on a student’s overall growth, especially during this time of reintegrating into the classroom and much needed social emotional learning,” said O’Keefe.
“The performing arts have always been a consistent source of pride for us at Absegami, and play a large part in our overall school culture. The marching band and instrumental music program are a great example of that as we strive to provide fulfilling and educational experiences both in and out of the classroom,” said Supervisor of Music and Absegami assistant Principal Leslie Madison.
Absegami will compete in the coming weeks throughout the state, including a performance at MetLife Stadium in the Meadowlands during the first week of November. They will end their season at the Atlantic Coast Championships in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.