Gianna Lodato to March in the NYC Thanksgiving Day Parade!

West Essex Marching Knight Performs with the Macy’s Great American Marching Band

Gianna Lodato, a junior percussionist 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 successfully auditioned earlier this year for a coveted spot in this elite ensemble of over 200 musicians, color guard and dancers from across the United States.  

Gianna Lodato

Gianna 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. This will not be Gianna’s first experience with the parade, however, as she has participated both 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.

Gianna also carries on a more recent West Essex tradition. “The Marching Bands have always been a highlight for me,” she said, “and Catherine’s [Marino] and Maddie’s [Rombough] past performances inspired me to audition for the band.”  Catherine and Maddie performed in 2017 and 2019, respectively, with Catherine playing Alto Saxophone, and Maddie playing Flute.

Mr. Eddie Griffin, West Essex High School Band Director, noted, “we are all very proud of Gianna to take part in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I have no doubt that she will be a phenomenal example of our West Essex community on our nation’s biggest stage. We congratulate Gianna and wish her the best of luck!”

Gianna 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.  “I feel honored (and a bit of pressure) to represent my state and my high school in such a renowned tradition. Being selected to participate in this all-star ensemble means the world to me, and I know that it is an experience I will remember for the rest of my life!”

The West Essex Band Boosters couldn’t agree more, and are very proud of Gianna!  We wish her the best of luck and will be looking out for her on Thanksgiving morning!

Congratulations Seniors!

Senior Knights Celebrated As the 2021 Season Winds Down

We congratulate our Senior Marching Knights as a great season comes to a close! The West Essex Band Boosters thank you for your leadership and dedication to the Band!

Seniors, L to R: Tiana Pimentel, Michael Babboni, Samara Schiffman, Brian Mintz, Ryan Polizzi, James Humphrey, Andrew Brisco, Samantha Kovacs, Caroline McElhannon, Andrew Marino

Knights Wrap Up the Season!

Chapter Championship Marks the Final Competition for 2021

The Marching Knights left it all on the field at Sunday’s Tournament of Bands Chapter X Championships, securing 2nd Place with a score of 87.1. It’s been a great season and we congratulation all the Knights, Mr. Griffin and the staff in an outstanding return to the competitive field!

A BIG thank you to all the Band Parents who volunteered, chaired and donated in any way to make our home competition a huge success. We could not have asked for a better day and a smoother show – thanks to all who helped out! More pictures to come!

Knights Score Big at MetLife!

Place 2nd of 10 in their Group at the USBands Yamaha Cup

Congratulations to the Marching Knights, Mr. Griffin and Staff for an outstanding performance at MetLife Stadium on Saturday October 2, 2021!

The Knights scored 78.7, placing 2nd of 10 bands in their competitive group and 4th of 18 bands in Group 2A overall. Thanks to the Pit Crew for a great job moving equipment and props on the big stage!

A special shout out to our Custodial team and Equipment Trailer drivers for your never-ending support of the Marching Knights! You guys are the BEST!

Click here to visit our Photo Album for more pics!

Shake Shack Dine to Donate!

Tuesday October 5 ~ 11am to 9pm, Willowbrook Mall

Come on out and support the Band! Join us for a Dine to Donate at the Shake Shack at Willowbrook Mall on Tuesday October 5 from 11am to 9pm!

Show this flyer, or mention code DONATION25, and 25% of your total meal purchase will be donated to the West Essex High School Band Program!

Hey Band Alumni! Homecoming 2021!

Calling all West Essex High School Band Alumni!

The 2021 Marching Knights and West Essex Band Boosters are planning a special alumni day event! Join the marching band for their Homecoming game against Belleville High School on Saturday, October 9th. Festivities for the day include performing the Star Spangled Banner/stand tunes with the Marching Knights, enjoying the half-time show, reconnecting with old friends, and meeting our current band members. Please spread the word and see below for details. Complete the Google Form to RSVP for this wonderful event!

Homecoming Game vs. Belleville

Saturday, October 9th

Kickoff at 1:00PM

  • Brief rehearsal before the game to rehearse the Banner and stand tunes. Instruments will not be provided, so please bring your own.
  • Music will be provided after completion of RSVP
  • Playing your instrument is NOT required! You are more than welcome to join for the day and hang with the band
  • Free band alumni t-shirt!
  • Live performance of the Marching Knights 2021 production “Captured
  • Food and mingle time during the 3rd quarter of the game
  • Featuring alumni events for the football team and the WEHS Class of 2020
  • Complete this Google Form to join!

Please do not hesitate to contact the West Essex High School Band Director, Eddie Griffin.

Season Opens with High Score!

Knights Earn 78.45 for First Place Showing at Jefferson

The Marching Knights captured a score of 78.45 in Group 2 Open at the season’s first competition at Jefferson High School on September 18, 2021. The score was the second highest among Open class at the competition, and eclipsed the Knights’ previous high score in recent years for a first-Competition performance, achieved in 2018 (78.0), also at Jefferson.

Congratulations to the Marching Knights, Mr. Griffin & Staff! You’re off to a GREAT start!

Thank you to all the Band Parents who helped with the Pit Crew. Help is ALWAYS needed, so if you are ready, willing and able, please email Mr. Griffin to sign up!

Confused by the the term “TOB” , “Group 2 Open”, or what “Group A” means? Click here to visit our TOB and USBands links under our Parent Resources section for an explanation!

Marching Knights Home Field Debut!

First Show a Success!

The Marching Knights debuted their 2021 show, “Captured”, as well as their new uniforms during the Friday night football game against River Dell. The Football Knights won, as did the Marching Knights in a fantastic first home-field performance.

Marching Knights debut performance of “Captured”

We can’t wait to see what’s in store for this season! The Marching Knights have “captured” our attention! Congrats to the Knights, Mr. Griffin and the entire staff!

Click here to visit our Photos page for more pics.