WEST ORANGE, NJ - The West Orange High School Marching Mountaineers won the Group 5A State Championship on Oct. 22 at Rutgers University, continuing a successful and stellar competition season for the band and their "Defying Gravity" routine.
With a score of 93.613 the Mountaineers not only won the state championship but also took caption awards for best music, best visual and best overall effect. Band members were ecstatic about their achievements, which many expressed as the product of hard work from each section. The last time the Marching Band took home the state championship was 2009.
"I'm really proud of the entire band," said Drum Major Divya Anand.
"Some in the band have been performing for three years, while others joined this year knowing very little about the activity, and to see our newest members rise from having no experience to becoming state champions is amazing."
"Winning state championships is an incredible accomplishment for me and the rest of the seniors for our final year in the band," commented senior and drumline member Austin Bartola.
"It's rewarding to see how everyone in the drumline has developed as musicians and as people since the beginning of the season," he continued.
The Mountaineers have won every competition with this year's routine "Defying Gravity," which features live vocals of Rihanna's hit song "Diamonds" during the performance. The routine, choreography, and vocals have proven to be unstoppable as the band has taken multiple award honors at each competition.
"Everyone has been expressing how proud they are of each other and the sense of family among us is incredible," Bartola concluded.
Austin Bartola is a senior participating on the West Orange Mountaineer Media Team.
Graduating Marching Band seniors. (Photo by Mary-Lauri Bartola.)
Group photo. (Photo by Mary-Lauri Bartola.)