Marching Mountaineers debut stirring ‘Rome – The Eternal City’ program

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WEST ORANGE, NJ — The Marching Mountaineers debuted their new musical program “Rome – The Eternal City” to the cheers of the crowd at West Orange High School on Sept. 15.

The stirring routine featured performances of “Vesuvius,” by Frank Ticheli; “Nessun Dorma,” by Giacomo Puccini; and “Danse Bacchanale,” by Camille Saint-Saens.

Band Director Lew Kelly, teachers Erin Lagatic and Josh Zimmer, and a crowd of hard-working parents made the setup and breakdown go smoothly. The sound was perfect and the band hit all the right notes as they performed complex movements and demanding musical patterns. The color guard wore ethereal and visually stunning costumes that complemented the theme and their choreography flowed seamlessly throughout the program. Drum Major Jax Apollon led the band in their debut performance with panache.

And, just one day later, the Marching Mountaineers took first place in Group 4 Open at the Jefferson Township High School Marching Band Competition. In addition to their first-place “Best in Class” win, the Mountaineers also took “Best Music” and “Best Visual” in the Group 4 Open Class at the Sept. 16 competition.

“The kids were terrific,” Lagatic said in a press release. “We were all so proud of them.”

Last year, the band took first place in all competitions in which they performed. They also won the state and national competitions in Group 4.

See the band’s performance of “Rome – The Eternal City” at

Photos Courtesy of WOSD