Gianna Lodato and Logan Bogumil to March in the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade!

Two students from
the West Essex Marching Knights
perform with
the Macy’s Great American Marching Band

Gianna Lodato, a Senior Percussionist, and Logan Bogumil, a Senior Drum Major in the West Essex High School Band will perform with the Macy’s Great American Marching Band in this year’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.  Gianna and Logan successfully auditioned earlier this year for coveted spots in this elite ensemble of over 200 musicians, color guard and dancers from across the United States.  

This will be Gianna’s second year marching in the Parade as a band member and she will march among the world famous balloons, floats and celebrities that have made the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade a favorite annual tradition since 1924. However, Gianna is not new to being involved in the parade. Gianna’s previous experience with the parade has been participating in costume and as a float escort from 2015 through 2019.  Reflecting on her first time attending the parade, Gianna said, “I was captivated by the excitement of it and knew that I wanted to one day participate.” She carries on a family tradition in which her mother and grandmother have both participated in the parade – her grandmother as a parade clown in 1950.

Growing up in Florida with a New York mom, Logan has always had a tradition of watching the parade each Thanksgiving with his family, and it always seemed magical to him. Finally, last year, his wish came true of being part of that very magic. Because of concerns with covid, he, along with his family, made the tough decision to decline being a part of marching in the parade. Never giving up, and being a part of the Bushwackers group to advance his skills, he was once again welcomed back to march in the parade this year! This was special to him and his family for so many reasons. His family is beyond proud; Mom, Dad, and Abby being there in the city to cheer him on, other members cheering on from heaven, beaming.

Ms. Elise McAloon, West Essex High School Band Director, noted, “we are so proud of both Logan and Gianna for dedicating their time and talents to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity. Both students are representing the commuity and the WE Band Program at a high level by participating in the parade and we will be rooting for them come Thursday morning!” Gianna and Logan will attend a week of intense rehearsals in New Jersey, as well as enjoy various NYC outings before marching down 6th Avenue and taking the big stage in Herald Square on Thanksgiving morning. When asked about being in the parade this year, Gianna states, “I’m elated to be once again representing West Essex in the parade and am excited to be playing bass!!” Logan states, “Ever since I was a little kid, my family and I have watched the Macy’s Parade and always dreamed of being there in NYC to watch it live. Even though I was accepted into the parade last year, I wasn’t able to attend; which has made my excitement for this year even greater than before. I can’t wait to be a part of the parade and give my family a reason to watch it live!”

The West Essex Band Boosters have learned that the Macy’s Great American Marching Band (MGAMB) will be performing towards the end of the program so stay tuned to the broadcast, especially during the 11:00 hour. Can’t catch the parade live? Want an introduction to the parade itself? There will be a 1-hour special airing Wednesday night at 8 p.m. on NBC, about the parade. MGAMB has submitted some highlights from last year, including rehearsal footage, the Herald Square performance, along with some photos, so hopefully some of that would be used in the special. We’ll see!

The West Essex Band Boosters are very proud of Gianni and Logan!  We wish them the best of luck and will be looking out for them on Thanksgiving morning!

Another Year Comes to an End!

Congratulations Class of 2022!

It’s hard to believe another year has already come to an end! So much activity has taken place these past couple months as we enjoyed our Spring Concert Series, Performing Arts Banquet, Marching Knights Open House, Memorial Day Parade, and more!

WEBB Scholarship Recipients (top four)
DJB Memorial Scholarship (bottom)

We congratulate this year’s recipients of the West Essex Band Boosters Scholarships, the inaugural Darryl J. Bott Memorial Scholarship recipient, and all the Band Program award winners!

WEBB wishes all graduating seniors and their parents the best of luck as you embark on the next chapter of your lives! We hope you come back to visit often!

For returning parents… activities for the 2022/2023 school year are in full swing!  Keep an eye out for emails over the summer as we plan for our annual Parent Gathering during Band Camp, the Marching Season Kick-Off Breakfast, Tournament of Bands Home Competition, and more!  There are so many ways for parents to help – and, as always, we’ll need everyone to lend a hand as we look forward to another successful year!  Please take some time to peruse our website for more information on how WEBB supports the Band!

Email us anytime at if you have questions.

Winter Guard & Indoor Percussion

Friends & Family Performance

“Perfectly Imperfect”? “A Work In Progress”? These are the themes of the West Essex High School Winter Guard’s and Indoor Percussion’s 2022 shows, respectively. We beg to differ: “Perfectly PERFECT” and “A Work COMPLETE!”

The two High School Winter Ensembles performed on March 31 to a large audience of parents, friends and family members – many who were likely watching these spectacular performances for the first time this year.

The Guard’s show theme takes the audience on a journey of self-reflection, utilizing physical mirrors to reinforce the performers’ movement, flag and rifle skills.

Indoor Percussion entertained us with a fun and uplifting show incorporating a construction theme and using everyday objects such as pails, pipes and garbage pail lids as musical instruments.

Creativity and talent abound! Both ensembles have enjoyed a successful and award-winning season thus far. We congratulate all the students and instructors for their outstanding shows!

Click here to visit our Photo Album page for more photos.

Franklin Steakhouse Dine to Donate

Tuesday March 22 – All Day!

Our next Dine to Donate to support the West Essex Band will be held at the Franklin Steakhouse at 318 Passaic Avenue in Fairfield. Come in for lunch or dinner, dine-in or take-out. The D2D is all day long! Show this flyer, or just mention the West Essex Band! (Applies to food sales only)

Indoor Percussion Off to a Strong Start

Competitive Season Kicks Off with 1st and 2nd Place Showings!

The West Essex Indoor Percussion Ensemble has made a strong showing with its 2022 performance, “A Work In Progress”. You wouldn’t know it was a work in progress, given the 1st and 2nd place wins at their first two competitions of the season! The show is fun, upbeat, and incorporates many unique features and visuals to catch your attention.

West Essex scored 71.25 for first place at Wayne Valley on February 26, followed by a second place score of 73.70 at Fair Lawn High School on March 5. Both competitions were part of the US Bands circuit. Next up – Bergenfield High School Competition on March 19. Good Luck Knights!

Region and All-State Honors!

Students Take Regional and All-State Honors!

Six Musicians Placed in All-North Jersey Region; One Advances to All-State!

  • James Humphrey, Senior – Wind Ensemble – Contra-Bass Clarinet
  • Richard Li, Junior – Symphonic Band – 3rd Chair Trombone
  • Jake Linnett, Junior – Symphonic Band – 2nd Chair Baritone Saxophone
  • Gianna Lodato, Junior – Symphonic Band – 2nd Chair Percussion
  • Andrew Marino, Senior – Wind Ensemble – 2nd Chair Mallets
  • Dante Ragusa, Junior – Symphonic Band – 3rd Chair Tuba

We further congratulate senior Contra-Bass Clarinetist, James Humphrey, for placing in the New Jersey All-State Wind Ensemble! Following several days of rehearsals in Bridgewater and Atlantic City, James will perform with New Jersey’s best student musicians at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center on Saturday February 26, 2022.   West Essex Band students continue to shine, and the Band Boosters could not be more proud of them!  Congratulations to all! 

Area Band Audition Results Are In!

Eight West Essex High School Band Students place in North Jersey Area Band Ensembles

The West Essex High School Band Program is once again well represented in the 2022 North Jersey Area Band.  Eight students successfully auditioned and will be performing at the annual concert on Saturday January 15, 2020 at 2:00pm at Mount Olive High School.  The Wind Ensemble will be conducted by Dr. Christian Wilhjelm of the New Jersey Wind Symphony, while the Symphonic Band will be led by Mr. Kenneth Adessa of Mount Olive Middle School.

The West Essex Band Boosters congratulate the following students and all those who auditioned. We applaud your determination, drive and dedication! Click here for more information on North Jersey Area Band.

  • Aidan Alberto, Sophomore – Wind Ensemble – Timpani
  • Logan Bogumil, Junior – Symphonic Band – 3rd Chair Clarinet
  • James Humphrey, Senior – Wind Ensemble – 1st Chair Bass Clarinet
  • Aidan Leifer, Sophomore – Symphonic Band – 9th Chair Trumpet
  • Jake Linnett, Junior – Symphonic Band – Baritone Saxophone
  • Gianna Lodato, Junior – Wind Ensemble – 2nd Chair Percussion
  • Andrew Marino, Senior – Wind Ensemble – 1st Chair Mallets
  • Caroline McElhannon, Senior – Wind Ensemble – Piccolo

Cloverleaf Tavern Dine to Donate

Tuesday, December 14 ~ All Day Long!

Come on out and Support the Band, while also supporting a favorite local restaurant! The Cloverleaf Tavern is hosting the next Dine to Donate in support of the West Essex High School Band Program. Come in for lunch or dinner – the D2D is all day long! Show this flyer, or just mention the West Essex Band!

You gotta eat, why not support the Band while you’re at it?