On Saturday, September 15, 2012, the Mahwah High School Marching Thunderbirds participated at a special halftime field show performance at Michie Stadium on the campus of the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. It was a wonderful experience for everyone involved, as the band performed for over 38,000 spectators in Michie Stadium at the football home opener between Army and Northern Illinois. Marching Band Director Jeffrey Bittner reflected on significance of this special event:
“Being able to perform during the halftime show at a prestigious institution like West Point is a tremendous, exhilarating honor for our band and the Mahwah community. Events like these are rare, and our entire staff is elated that we were able to provide the students with memories that will last a lifetime. They have worked hard for the past three months and truly deserved the opportunity to play alongside phenomenal musicians from the United States Military Academy.”
Along with the United States Military Academy Band and West Point Cadets Spirit Band, the Marching Thunderbirds played with other high school marching bands from New Jersey and New York. These high school bands included Bergenfield (NJ), Chatham (NY), Jefferson Central (NY), Pascack Hills (NJ), and Emerson (NJ).
Over 500 performers played the following selections during the show: Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey), Theme from the “A-Team”, Poker Face (Lady Gaga), Sweet Caroline (Neil Diamond), and The Stars and Stripes Forever March (Sousa).
In the YouTube video of the performance, the bands are positioned in the order listed above from left to right, with the West Point Bands in the middle and Mahwah on the right.
Accompanying the 76-member MHS Marching Thunderbirds were staff members Jeffrey Bittner (Director), Timothy Rausenberger (Assistant Director), Jared Penn (Percussion Instructor), and Genevieve Bodtmann (Color Guard Director).
Congratulations to the Mahwah High School Marching Thunderbirds on an outstanding performance at this event!
The above was submitted by Marching Thunderbirds Assistant Director Timothy Rausenberger.