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March 19, 2015





(Newark, NJ) – The Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders honored the Nutley High School Raiders Marching Band during its Wednesday, March 18, 2015, meeting held at the Hall of Records.  The Board’s Commendation was co-sponsored and presented by Freeholder Vice President Brendan W. Gill of Montclair and District 5 Freeholder Cynthia D. Toro of Bloomfield.  The Band was selected to compete and perform in festivities surrounding the New Year’s Day TaxSlayer Gator Bowl, and came away as winners of the $10,000 Grand Prize.

Freeholder Vice President Brendan Gill of Montclair (far left) and District 5 Freeholder Cynthia Toro of Bloomfield (far right) honored the Nutley H. S. Raiders Marching Band for its great season during the Freeholder Board’s Wednesday, March 18, 2015, meeting at the Hall of Records.  Also pictured above are District 2 Freeholder Wayne Richardson of Newark (3rd from left) and Freeholder President Britnee Timberlake of East Orange (back row, far left), as well as NHS Director of Bands John Maiello (2nd from left) and James Riley (2nd from right), the Nutley School District’s Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts.  (Photo by Lloyd Holmes)


“Tonight we are delighted to honor a group of very talented musicians and color guard members of the award-winning Nutley H. S. Raiders Marching Band, which concluded its outstanding 2014-15 season when they competed and performed at the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl on New Year’s Day”, said Freeholder Vice President Gill.  “You put in hours upon hours of work to perfect your field show, and to entertain not only the spectators at football games on Saturday afternoons, but also compete so successfully at band competitions on Saturday nights.  We congratulate you for your awards, for winning the Grand Prize, and for making all of us back home in Nutley and Essex County so very proud of you.”



District 5 Freeholder Cynthia Toro, who began her first term representing Nutley on New Year’s Day, introduced herself to the band members and their parents saying, “I am so delighted to be here tonight to meet you and to honor the Band for its great season.”  She recounted the highlights of the Band’s season and successes at the Gator Bowl “…which I’m sure made Nutleyites watching your halftime performance on television at home very proud, as we are tonight.  Congratulations!”


Nutley H. S. Bands Director John Maiello, who was joined by James Riley, the School District’s Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts, thanked the freeholders for honoring the Band, “because this kind of stuff doesn’t happen very often.”  He went on to explain that the season had been expected to be a rebuilding year and didn’t begin so well, as the band finished 5th of 6 at its first competition.  “But we saw that we weren’t so far behind the other bands, began to understand the amount of work it would take to reach the championship level, improved as the season progressed and were eventually poised to perform as well as we did in Jacksonville.”  He went on to praise the members of the Band saying, “They really are an amazing group of kids; there isn’t a nicer or hard-working group of young people out there.”


Speaking on behalf of his fellow Band members, Drum Major Nicholas Cela also thanked the freeholders “for this honor today”, and spoke about how the music program at Nutley H. S., and in all schools, provides students with so many opportunities and experiences that help young people progress.  “It has been the best experience of my life, I am going to pursue music in college, and it has shown all of us what we can achieve in life if we just push forward.”


The 2014 Nutley High School Raiders Marching Band enjoyed a highly successful season that culminated in the band’s invitation to compete and perform at various TaxSlayer Gator Bowl activities in Jacksonville, Florida, where they won 1st Place honors and the Grand Prize of $10,000.  The Band was one of only 10 bands from across the country invited by WorldStrides Heritage Performance programs to participate in the Gator Bowl competitions based upon a video submission of the Band’s field show, entitled “Chronicles”.  It first competed in the “Battle of the Bands Field Show Competition” on New Year’s Eve, Wednesday, December 31, 2014, against seven other bands when it won 1st Place Overall and Caption awards for Percussion, Drum Major, Marching, General Effect, Color Guard and Music; then participated in the “Parade of Bands” on New Year’s Day, Thursday, January 1, 2015, at Jacksonville Landing, again earning 1st Place Overall and Caption awards for Music, Marching and Color Guard.  Having won the Field Show Competition the previous day, the Band earned the honor of a solo performance of its field show during the Gator Bowl Pre-Game Program and also performed with the other competing high school bands during the game’s Halftime Program.


The Band also enjoyed great success in other competitions during the regular season, including: 3rd Place Overall and Best Color Guard, Best Effect and Best Percussion at the Brick Township Competition; 1st Place Overall and Best Music, Best Color Guard and Best Percussion at the Randolph Competition; 2nd Place Overall and Best Effect and Best Visual at the Mt. Olive Competition; 2nd Place Overall at the East Brunswick Competition; 5th Place out of 20 bands at the New Jersey State Championships; and 2nd Place out of 10 bands at the Yamaha Cup.


The 2014 Nutley High School Raiders Marching Band is comprised of the following members: Alexander Abernovich, Michael Alvarez, Steven Bain, Michael Bereski, Anthony Borda, Thomas Burrow, Nicholas Cela, Emely Chavez, Amy Ciminnisi, Rachel Alessandra Cordasco, Nicholas Cortese, Anthony Costa, Sam Coulson, Marlena Cugliari, Bryan Dieterle, Alec Duffy, Vincent Elopre, Alyssa Escalante, Ryan Escalante, Ciera Fedell, Brianna Feldman, Frank Ferrara, Ian Frobose, Sarah Frobose, Zachary Gonzalez, Nicholas Harabedian, Jacob Jeong, Andrew Koslecki, Abigail Kostner, Joshua Kuczek, Gregory Kueken, Sabrina Lopez, Joshua Masucci, Michelle Melillo, David Merritt, Ashley Murphy, Josh Norona, John O’Brien, Brandon O’Brien, Xiv Paragas, Domenick Pomponio, Oscar Portillo, Sofia Pramagioulis, Darien Ramirez, Cassandra Rebutoc, Dana Rebutoc, Maggie Redstone, Rob Remuszka, Jacob Rivera,


Marquis Robbins, Emily Roberts, Saunak Roy, Saiyam Roy, Catherine Rubens, Sebastian Ruiz, Nicholas Russoniello, Nicholas Salernitano, Anthony Salimbene, Olivia Schiffert, Charles Scorsone, Zachary Sebek, Dana Testa, Larissa Thiele, Alexander Vaporis, Zachary Vaporis, David Villa, Rio Villanueva, Vivian Vu, Daya Wayloo, Maxwell Wechter, Averill Wong, Jordan Woods and Ada Zheng.


The Band was led by John Maiello, Director of Bands; Vincent Vicchiariello, Assistant Director of Bands; Josh DeWald, Percussion Instructor; and Aurilla Card, Color Guard Instructor; and also received administrative support from Russ Lazovick, Superintendent of Schools; James Riley, District Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts; and Principal Denis Williams.


Freeholder Vice President Gill who serves At-Large, is currently serving his second term on the Board, while Freeholder Toro began her first term in January to represent the towns of Belleville, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Montclair and Nutley.





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For Additional Information:
Kathy R. Brown, Research Analyst
Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders

Board of Chosen Freeholders, County of Essex
Hall of Records - Room 558, 465 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd., Newark, New Jersey 07102
Tel: (973) 621-4486 Fax: (973) 621-5695