Senior Night & First Performance!

Celebrating Our Senior Knights at the Season Opener

The West Essex Marching Knights took back the field in their first public performance of the season. And what a welcome sight (and sound) to hear our beloved Marching Band play again.

Marching Knights perform at half-time on Senior Night

Marching Knights perform at half-time on Senior Night

We also celebrate our Senior Knights, who stepped up this season to prove what it means to be a student leader, as an unconventional 2020 continues into the new school year.

While there will be no competitions, no Chapter Championships at West Essex, and no traditional gatherings during the Marching Season, WE are grateful for the kids being together and performing once again!

Congratulations as well to the West Essex Football Knights for a great game against David Brearley!

A Successful Band Camp at the Fairfield Recreation Complex

Marching Knights Cast “Shadows” in the Night

If there is one thing for certain, it’s that our Marching Knights are resilient kids who love to make great music together.  You only needed to stop by the Fairfield Recreation Complex once during this year’s modified Band Camp to see that in action.

Full Band - cropped

The Marching Knights rehearse at the Fairfield Recreation Complex

Donning masks and keeping socially distanced, the Marching Knights rehearsed nightly during the week of August 17, providing for unexpected entertainment to the many who use the walking trails and sports fields at the complex.

The facility, complete with turf field, lighting, press box with PA system and plenty of space to spread out, provided a terrific alternative to traditional Band Camp.

By Friday night, the Marching Knights performed the full show to the delight of the many parents and family members in the stands!  Great job to Mr. Fabrizio, Staff and Marching Knights!  Click here to visit our Photos page for more pictures.

A New Year Begins

And It’s “New” in So Many Ways!

A new (and different) school year is about to begin.  Returning to school will be new and different. Marching Band will be new and different.  And the West Essex Band Boosters‘ support will be new and different.

What isn’t new and different is our dedication to the students and educators of the West Essex Band Program. As our Marching Knights return to the field, the WEBB Executive Board has been meeting behind the scenes to discuss how the “new normal” will change the way we support the program.

To get the school year going, please join us for the WEBB General Membership and Marching Knights Information Session on August 5, 2020.  Look for emails from WEBB and Mr. Fabrizio for further information.

Additionally, a virtual WEBB Parent Gathering will be held on August 10, where we especially want to welcome our new Freshman Parents to the WEBB family.  Look for future WEBB emails with those details.

We look forward to “seeing” everyone again soon… Enjoy the rest of your summer!

A Memorable Year Comes to an End

Congratulations Seniors! WEBB Wishes You All the Best!

In a ‘normal’ year, this post would reflect on a rewarding Spring season of performances, including Music in our Schools, the Spring Concert, “Jazz Knight,” and, of course, the Symphonic Winds’ Carnegie Hall performance. We’d celebrate an award winning year, with concert band festivals, Indoor Percussion and Winter Guard competitions.  Yet, this Spring has been anything but ‘normal’, and we find ourselves bidding farewell to our Seniors without their due pomp and circumstance.

That said, there is much to celebrate, and we congratulate and applaud Mr. Fabrizio and the students of all the West Essex High School Band ensembles for your dedication, hard work, perseverance and resilience throughout the year.

2020 WEBB Scholarship Recipients

2020 West Essex Band Boosters Scholarship Recipients

We also congratulate this year’s recipients of the West Essex Band Boosters Scholarships, as well as all the Band award recipients. Your dedication, leadership example and contributions to the program are greatly appreciated! While we would have loved to celebrate with you in person, the Performing Arts Virtual Awards Banquet was a touching and fitting tribute to our many student leaders. Click here to view the event.

WEBB wishes all graduating seniors and their parents the best of luck as you embark on the next chapter of your lives! We encourage you to come back to visit early and often this Fall and throughout the school year! Click here for a short video tribute to our seniors.

For returning parents…remember that there are many ways for parents – new and current – to get involved in the West Essex Band Boosters.  Look for emails this summer for how you can help out as we kick off the 2020/2021 school year, and please click here to visit our Parents page for more information on volunteer opportunities.

Email us anytime at info@webandboosters.org if you have questions.

Have a safe and enjoyable summer!

2020 Marching Knights Show Reveal

“Shadows” Announced in a Virtual Open House

The 2020 Marching Knights Theme, "Shadows"

The on-screen reveal of the 2020 Marching Knights theme, “Shadows”

At at well-attended virtual Marching Knights Open House on Friday June 6, 2020, Mr. Fabrizio announced the 2020 Marching Knights theme, Shadows.   Composed by Frank Sullivan, with Drill Design by Christopher DeLeon, Shadows will explore the concept of darkness and light, taking the audience on an “uplifting journey beginning in the shadows before gradually leading to a stunning and powerful musical and visual moment of light.”

The show’s reveal featured a digital demonstration of the music of Shadows, and was received energetically by the student and parent attendees.  Also during the Open House, Mr. Fabrizio introduced the student leaders and instructors for the 2020 Marching Knights season.

Participants in the 2020 Marching Knights Open House

Participants in the 2020 Marching Knights Open House

Mr. Anthony Fermo and Mr. Andrew Marino, WEBB President and Corresponding Secretary, respectively, introduced the West Essex Band Boosters organization and invited parents to volunteer for activities throughout the school year.

Parents were also invited to explore our WEBBsite, including our recently updated Parent Resources page (click here) to learn more about the organization and the many opportunities to get involved.

As we fondly look towards the end of the 2019/2020 memorable school year, we are also looking forward to what is “lurking” in the Shadows this Fall!

A West Essex Legend Remembered

Former West Essex Band Director, Darryl J. Bott, 1955-2020

West Essex Band alumni, colleagues and students throughout New Jersey mourn the loss of a legend this weekend. Darryl J. Bott, former West Essex Band Director, passed away on Saturday May 23, 2020 at the age of 64. 

Darryl J. Bott

Darryl J. Bott

He was an inspiration, a mentor and a friend to many high school and college musicians over several decades of teaching in the New Jersey public school system and at the University level. During his 7 years leading the West Essex Band Program from 1981 to 1988, Mr. Bott evolved each ensemble – the Concert and Symphonic Bands, Marching Band and Jazz Band – into the highest caliber and consummately professional groups of student musicians. His accomplishments did not go unnoticed in the halls of West Essex, as the 1988 Milestone Yearbook was dedicated in his honor.

He brought to West Essex the inaugural Invitational Marching Band Festival in 1982, a tradition that continues to this day as the Tournament of Bands Chapter X Championships.  After countless accomplishments, awards and acclamation, Mr. Bott’s West Essex career reached its pinnacle when his Symphonic Band was selected as the only New Jersey ensemble to perform in the Tri-State Salute to Sousa and the Constitution at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall in New York City on May 17, 1987. 

Darryl Bott and his hand-built cannon for the 1987 Marching Knights finale, 1812 Overture

Darryl Bott and his hand-built cannon for the 1987 Marching Knights finale, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture

Mr. Bott came to West Essex from Wayne Valley High School in 1981. After West Essex, he spent 17 years with Roxbury High School before arriving at Rutgers University in 2005, where he retired in December 2019 as the Director of University Bands at the Mason Gross School of the Arts.

His ensembles at both the college and high school levels have received critical acclaim for their outstanding performances and have performed with world-renowned guest artists.  Mr. Bott has served as a clinician for honor bands and schools across the United States and has had the honor of conducting the President’s Own, United States Marine Band and the New Jersey Wind Symphony

As recently as January of this year, Mr. Bott conducted 3 West Essex musicians for the 2020 North Jersey Area Band Wind Ensemble – an experience these young musicians will not soon forget.

Mr. Bott was a graduate of William Paterson University, where he majored in music education. He received his graduate degree in Wind Conducting from Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts. 

He instilled in his students the love of music, teamwork, discipline and reaching for greater heights together than any one student can achieve alone.

In his own words, as he wrote in the February 1985 Winter Band Festival concert program, “music is one art form where the most shy or forward individual can express their emotions through this versatile language…the music program offers even more important lessons in the development of team work and sharing a common goal, the art of accepting one’s weaknesses and building upon their strengths, the awe of projecting one’s emotions upon an audience and bringing them to their feet with tears of joy.”

These words are as true today as they were 35 years ago when written.  The thousands of students Darryl Bott and his teachings have touched and inspired over the decades, and those who to this day reflect affectionately upon their time in the West Essex Band during “the Bott Years,” are living proof.  

NEW WEBB BOARD FOR 2020/2021

Congratulations to our new WEBB Officers for the 2020/2021 School Year!

Elections for the upcoming school year were held during the virtual WEBB General Membership meeting on Monday May 11.  Congratulations to the following elected individuals who, with Ms. Swanick and Mr. Fabrizio, will comprise the new Board, and thank you to all for your dedication and support of the program!

  • President: Anthony Fermo
  • Vice President: Stacey Bachenheimer
  • Treasurer: Susan Alamia
  • Recording Secretary: Heidi Levine
  • Corresponding Secretary: Andrew Marino

In addition, thank you to outgoing Vice President Cathy Stampone and Secretary Joanne Marino for all of your support this year – your time and talents were much appreciated! 

MARCHING KNIGHTS RECRUITMENT VIDEO

An Inspiring Invitation to Join the Marching Knights!

Working and schooling at home has not stopped Mr. Fabrizio and the Marching Knights from creating a wonderful and inspiring recruitment video, inviting up-and-coming eighth graders and all else interested to join the award winning Pride of West Essex Marching Band!  Join UsWe applaud these incredible kids and their passion for the Marching Knights.

Click on the Marching Knights image or here to view their welcoming invitation to join!

High School Band Activities

As West Essex responds to the evolving circumstances surrounding Coronavirus, the following High School Band Activities have been postponed or cancelled.  We encourage you to look to emails from Mr. Fabrizio and the district for further updates.

  • Postponed: Carnegie Hall Symphonic Winds Performance
  • Postponed: Music In Our Schools Concert
  • Cancelled: NJ Region 1 Concert Band Festival
  • Cancelled: Essex County Honors Band Concert
  • Cancelled: Indoor Percussion Rehearsals and Performances
  • Cancelled: Winter Guard Rehearsals and Performances
  • Cancelled: March 23 WEBB General Membership Meeting