From 5th Avenue to the Military Academy


Neil Mehta

The band performed at the U.S. Military Academy, West Point

Matthew Chen and William Lehr

After three weeks of halftime shows and parades, the Marching Band season concluded with their last football game this past Friday. 

The three eventful weeks kicked off with the 75th Annual Columbus Day Parade down 5th avenue in Manhattan. The band marched for over an hour with other schools along a 2-mile stretch in front of crowds of thousands. They were also featured on live television. This year marked the first time the band participated in the Columbus Day Parade. 

A week later, the band performed at Hofstra University at the 57th Annual Newsday Marching Band Festival with a dozen other high school bands. The band performed their show and proceeded to play with the other bands in the finale, performing “America The Beautiful”. Drummer Alec Aguinaldo stated, “Newsday was fun because it’s nice to see all the other marching bands across the island come together and express their love of music.”

On Saturday, October 22nd, only two days after Newsday, the Marching Band set off for another event: the American Collegiate Football Game between San Jose State and the Army at the United States Military Academy at West Point.”. They performed an 80’s halftime show featuring classics such as “Final Countdown”, “Don’t Stop Believing”, and “Take On Me”.  This performance was the largest sporting event the band had ever performed for.

The one-night journey began with a 5 AM rehearsal with 7 other Marching Bands, including the esteemed West Point Marching Band. They were welcomed by the Paratrooper Regiment, “The Black Knights,” who soared down from 4,000 feet in the air and landed onto the field.  

The event gave the Marching Band an opportunity to explore the West Point campus and learn about the rich history of the esteemed military academy. The performance itself was also truly unique for band members. As Drum Major Gabriella Smith said, “West Point was an amazing experience for me! I loved hanging out with the marching band crew and I even made friends with an Army dude!”