• This Is Rutherford

Tournament of the Bands

Updated: Oct 2, 2019

By Jennifer Ersalesi

Photos by Mike and Bonnie Corcoran

This year Rutherford will host a Band Competition at Tryon Field on October 5th at 4 pm. Rutherford High School’s Marching Band will also be participating in the competition. Michael Faugno, High School Instrumental Music Teacher and Band Director, explained, “TOB (Tournament of Bands) is the name of the circuit in which our competition is hosted. It has over 70 schools that compete. These schools create their own schedule and compete at band competitions, like the one in Rutherford, from September to November during the school year.”

TIR: What goes into the planning of the Band Competition?

Wendy Armacost: Preparation for the competition begins months beforehand. Mr. Faugno works with the Tournament of the Bands to select a date and high schools sign up to participate. On the Music Boosters end, we begin in June with volunteer sign-ups. Over the summer, Mr. Faugno and I meet various members of the town administration such as the Recreation Department, Bureau of Fire Safety, Police Department and the Health Department to make sure all permits are in place. We generally meet as a group in September, but lots of communication happens electronically. Thank heavens for email!

TIR: Is there a Committee involved with the planning of the competition?

WA: Mr. Faugno handles all the communication with the various High Schools and the Tournament of Bands, and the members of the Rutherford HS Marching Band escort the other high school bands to their practice area and the competition field that day. The rest of the event is planned by and staffed by the adults of the Rutherford HS Music Boosters. We do everything from ordering the trophies, preparing and serving the food at the concession stand, selling tickets, acting as stand guards (so that people don’t enter the stands while the bands are performing), guiding the busses for parking, and setting up a judges‘ tent (for food and scoring). This event would not be possible without all the hard working parents!

Mr. Michael Faugno, RHS Band Director

TIR: Which bands will be participating in the band competition?

MF: This year we will be hosting (in order of competition): North Arlington HS, Lodi HS, Becton Regional HS, Bloomfield HS, Mahwah HS, North Bergen HS, Wayne Hills HS, Union City HS, Hackensack HS, Raritan HS, Hoboken HS, Harrison HS, Kearny HS, Montville Township HS, Rahway HS, Parsippany Hills HS, Ramsey, and Rutherford HS. There will be 18 bands in total.

TIR: Tell us about Rutherford’s band show this year.

MF: Rutherford's show this year is titled "Re/make: The Music from Final Fantasy VII". Final Fantasy VII is a game that was released in 1997 and is being re-released in 2020. Its music has been rearranged for orchestra, band, brass ensembles, woodwind ensembles, guitar trios, and pretty much any musical group you can imagine. The games composer, Nobuo Uematsu, has been composing music for video games from 1986 to current day and is considered one of the most influential composers of this medium in history. Our marching band show has three parts each with music from different portions of the game. They are: One Winged Angel, FFVII Main Theme, and Keep Fighting!

TIR: How long has the RHS Marching Band been practicing their show?

MF: Rutherford has been working on their show since our first day at band camp on August 26th. We rehearse after school on Tuesday and Thursday from 3:15 to 6:00 and practice music, marching, drill, and guard work. We compete at competitions throughout the season as well as perform our show at halftime for all of the Varsity Football games. Our season continues until the last football game of the season or our Championship performance on October 20th, whichever comes last.

TIR: Why would you encourage families to attend this event?

MF: I would encourage families to attend this event to come out and support the students from Rutherford and 17 other towns around NJ that have worked tirelessly since the end of the summer to put on their show. The band competition will have great food, great music and marching and it is a fun and unique experience that Rutherford gets to host once a year.

WA: I would absolutely encourage families to attend. We have bands of all sizes performing and I think it’s a wonderful event for both children and adults. Watching older students perform helps to spark the urge to play an instrument or join a color guard in the younger kids.


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